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Studies and Reports

Under Article 8 of Council Directive 92/84/EEC on the approximation of the rates of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages, the Commission is required to produce a report and, where appropriate, a proposal on the minimum rates of excise duty, taking into account

  • the proper functioning of the internal market,
  • competition between the different categories of alcoholic drinks,
  • the real value of the rates of duty and
  • the wider objectives of the Treaty.

On 26 May 2004 the Commission presented its report on the rates of excise duty applied on alcohol and alcoholic beverages ( COM (2004) 223, press release IP/04/669 Choose translations of the previous link  and frequently asked questions MEMO/04/126 Choose translations of the previous link  ). In the report the Commission concludes that more convergence of the rates of excise duty in the different Member States is needed so as to reduce distortions of competition and fraud.

This report and subsequent discussions in Council with Member States helped to inform the Commission's proposal of 8 September 2006 ( COM(2006) 486pdf Choose translations of the previous link  to increase the minimum rates of excise duty in line with inflation, which three years later  has still not obtained the necessary unanimity in the Council.

To help inform the above-mentioned report, and in line with the remit set down in Article 8, a study on the competition between alcohol drinks was undertaken which was finalised in 2001.

The full version of this document is available on CD-ROM and can be obtained upon request from the Commission's Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union, Unit C2. On this site you can find Chapter 1 of the report - which is an introduction and overview, including an executive summary in English, French and German. This document was prepared for the Commission by Customs Associates Ltd.

Texts are available in pdfpdf(36 kB) Choose translations of the previous link  .

A new study on alcohol excise taxation was  launched by the Commission's Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union in 2009 and was carried out by an external contractor – London Economics. The study was published in June 2010. The full studypdf(2.57 Mb) and its executive summarypdf(191 kB) examine whether the current rates and structures of alcohol taxation are adequately supporting the internal market as well as identify and analysea range of possible changes that could be made. .