EC consults on alcohol duties and counterfeiting

Poisonous vodkaThe European Commission is considering changes to excise duty on alcoholic beverages in order to fight tax fraud and reduce the sale of counterfeit alcohol.

A public consultation is being launched to gauge feedback on the idea, and also to look into whether small and home producers of alcohol - such as home-brewers - could benefit from simpler rules and lower excise duties.

A key objective is to determine whether EU consumers are properly informed about what they are drinking: for instance, whether discount alcohol is more likely to be counterfeit, and as importantly whether it contains harmful chemicals.

The comment period ends on November 27 and will be used to assess possible future changes to the current Alcohol Excise Structures Directive (Directive 92/83/EEC), which has not been changed for more than 20 years.

It also seeks to establish a level playing-field among producers of alcohol by ensuring that EU-wide rules are applied correctly and effectively.

Counterfeit alcohol is a huge problem in Europe, and while many believe that the problem is restricted to the black market; counterfeit products are increasingly appearing on the shelves of retailers and bars.

Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs said: "Current rules on the classification and excise structure of alcoholic beverages can be open to interpretation, so that some producers can exploit tax loopholes by producing and selling counterfeit alcohol."

"By taking part in this public consultation, interested parties and consumers can have a real impact on reducing fraud in this area. We also want to look at ways to lighten the burden for our smaller producers."

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top