The basic legislation is contained in:
Council Directive 92/83/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the harmonisation of the
structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages. This Directive:
- defines the various categories of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, fermented beverages other than beer and wine, intermediate products and ethyl alcohol).
- Prescribes the basis on which the excise duty is calculated.
- Introduces reduced rates for small breweries, small distilleries, certain drinks (ouzo and rum produced in the French Overseas Departments).
- Introduces special provisions for certain regions of Spain .
- Grants derogations to exempt, in the UK , "black" beer and angostura bitters.
- Provides general exemption to alcohol which is not intended for consumption as a beverage.
Council Directive 92/84/EEC of 19 October 1992 on the approximation of the
rates of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages. This Directive sets
down the minimum rates which are as follows:
- For alcohol (spirits), 550€ per hectolitre of pure alcohol
- For intermediate products, 45€ per hectolitre of product.
- For wine and sparkling wine, zero rate.
- For beer, 0.748 € per hectolitre per degree Plato, or 1.87€ per hectolitre per degree alcohol, of finished product.
- Commission Regulation (EC) No 3199/93 of 22 November 1993 on the mutual recognition of procedures for the complete denaturing of alcohol for the purposes of exemption from excise duty. This Regulation implements Article 27(1)(a) of Council Directive 92/83/EEC for the complete denaturing of alcohol and sets down the various formulations of denaturants in the Member States.
In addition, there is legislation relating to specific matters:
- Council Decision 2007/659/EC of 9 October 2007 authorising France to apply a reduced rate of excise duty on traditional rum produced in its overseas departments and repealing Decision 2002/166/EC.
- Council Decision 2008/417/EC of 3 June 2008 authorising Portugal to apply a reduced rate of excise duty on locally produced beer in the autonomous region of Madeira.
- Council Decision 2009/831/EC of 10 November 2009 authorising Portugal to apply a reduced rate of excise duty in the autonomous region of Madeira on locally produced and consumed rum and liqueurs and in the autonomous region of the Azores on locally produced and consumed liqueurs and eaux-de-vie.