Excise duties are a form of indirect taxation and should always be paid in the country where the goods will be consumed. It is therefore important to know which goods fall under which excise duty. The consumption of certain goods has been harmonized within the EU. These goods are Community goods subject to excise duties and include:
- Energy products (e.g. electricity, gas, and oils)
- Tobacco products
In concrete terms, harmonized excise duties means that the common provisions for excise goods must be implemented in all Member States. The European Commission provides for a minimum of formalities, legislation, and rates, which the Member States can further extend and implement individually. For more information about harmonized excise duties in Europe, click on this link. For more information about the minimum rates within Europe and the extension of this per Member State, click on this link.
In addition to the provisions for harmonized excise goods, every Member State of the European Union is free to calculate excise duty on the consumption of other products. This category of products is known as national excise goods and includes:
- Coffee (including coffee extracts)
- Alcohol-free beverages (e.g. spring water, soft drinks, fruit juice, tea, etc.)
In general, excise duties are calculated according to the quantity of the product delivered and not according to the value of the product.