Review of EU excise duties

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Parere del CESE: Review of EU excise duties

Key points:

The EESC

  • welcomes the measures contained in this package proposed by the Commission;
  • believes that they will largely achieve the goals set out, – namely, to provide greater certainty and clarity over the treatment of certain alcoholic products, facilitate cross-border trade under streamlined and modernised systems, and reduce the administrative and legal burdens on small enterprise;
  • is satisfied that the proposed changes respect the guiding principle to provide for the widest possible discretion to allow Member States to adapt excise taxation on alcoholic products to national needs and objectives in the areas of taxation structure, cultural and social contexts;
  • supports the measures contained in the package of provisions as definitions are given greater clarity and consistency; as access to cross-border trade for small producers is made administratively simpler and modernised through updated IT systems; and as process and conditions for denatured alcohol are clarified;
  • concerning the proposal to increase the lower duty threshold for beers from 2.8 percent volume to 3.5 percent volume, given that this would be left optional to the discretion of Member States, the EESC supports the proposal but calls for a review within five years to assess the impact in any Member State availing of this proposal;
  • regarding the Commission's proposal to rationalise the method of measuring the Plato degree of the ‘finished product’ on beer, on the basis that it should be done at the end of the brewing process, the EESC supports the Commission proposals on the basis that it is the least disruptive.