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 162/2013 of 21 February 2013 amending the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 3199/93 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 in the accompanying annex, lists the new common "Euro" denaturing method and the remaining existing national denaturing methods still in use in some Member States.
See the Recommendations and opinions on Denaturing of ethyl alcohol used to manufacture cosmetics and perfume, which were adopted or discussed by the Indirect Taxation Expert Group on 31 October 2014.
See the questions and answers on Denaturing alcohol in cosmetics and perfumes.
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.