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05/ 06/ 2019

Re: Mechanism of excise tax payment for tobacco products

From: Head of Trade and Economic Section, Ms Jana Herceg

Answer regarding letter dated 5 March 2019 (reference no 427/2019/21) concerning the draft law no 9493 on excise tax payment for tobacco products:

It is incompatible with EU law to collect excise duties in advance. That is clear from the Commission’s views expressed in an Irish case a few years ago:

“The European Commission has sent a formal request to Ireland to amend its legislation on the application of excise duties to tobacco. Ireland collects excise duties on manufactured tobacco using fiscal marks on the packaging and demands payment of the duties upon making these marks available. This runs counter to the principles of Directive 92/12/EEC, which states that excise duties cannot be charged until products are released for consumption. Since Ireland has up to now failed to reply to previous requests, the Commission has also sent Ireland a formal request to comply with its Treaty obligation to cooperate with the Commission to achieve the Community’s tasks (Article 10 of the Treaty). These formal requests will take the form of socalled ‘reasoned opinions’ (second stage of the formal infringement procedure under Article 226 of the EC Treaty). In the absence of a satisfactory reaction within two months of receipt of the reasoned opinions, the Commission may refer the matters to the Court of Justice.”

More details: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-04-877_en.htm?locale=en

 

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