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European Union: entry into force of the new directive establishing the general excise regime

Council Directive (EU) 2020/262 of 19 December 2019, which organizes the overhaul of the general excise regime, will enter into full force on February, 13 2023. It will replace Council Directive 2008/118/EC of December 16, 2008.

Entry into force of Directive (EU) 2020/262 :

European Union Member States had until December 31, 2022 to adopt the legislative, regulatory and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this directive.

For example, in France, it should be noted that as of January 1, 2022, the Code of Taxation on Goods and Services (known as “CIBS”) came into force, which brings together the provisions relating to taxes and indirect contributions. Similarly, France plans to transfer powers from the General Directorate of Customs and excise Duties (“DGDDI”) to the Public Finances Directorate General(“DGFiP”) for the recovery of excise duties on tobacco and alcohol from 2024.

What are the main changes introduced by Directive (EU) 2020/262? 

Dematerialization of the Simplified Accompanying Document (SAD) for the circulation of duty paid products

In (B2B) transactions within the Member States, the circulation of duty paid products (i.e. for which the duties have been paid in the State of departure) must until now be accompanied by a document in paper format, known as the simplified accompanying document (“SAD”). However, as of February 13, 2023, this paper formality will disappear in favor of a simplified electronic administrative document (“SEAD”) which, as its name suggests, will allow dematerialized sending, monitoring and control of this formality, this in order to facilitate movements between professionals in B2B.

Maintaining tax representation in distance sales

In terms of distance sales, which schematically concern sales to private customers (B2C), they are now defined in Article 44 of Directive (EU) 2020/262. For the latter, the directive still allows the appointment of a tax representative in order to support professionals with their formalities related to their activity, in particular to guarantee the payment of excise duties, but also to keep accounts of the product deliveries. Mission accomplished by Eurotax for more than 5 years, at the European level.

Creation of new statutes

This reform entails the creation of new excise statutes:

  • Certified consignor status (« EC ») ; 
  • Certified consignee status (« DC »). 

The certified consignor is thus defined in article 3 of the directive as “a natural or legal person registered with the authorities of the Member State of dispatch in order to dispatch products subject to excise duty released for consumption in the territory of one Member State and then moved to the territory of another Member State.”

In the same article, the certified consignee is defined as “a natural or legal person registered with the authorities of the Member State of destination in order to receive goods subject to excise duty for consumption in the territory of one Member State and then introduced into the territory of another Member State.”

These two statutes will supplement the statutes already put in place by the European Union. It should also be noted that an operator who has obtained the status of authorized warehouse keeper (“AWK”) may act, after prior agreement from his customs office to which he is attached, as a certified consignor and/or a certified consignee.

Eurotax helps you with the management and payment of alcohol excise duties in several EU countries, visit our dedicated page, or contact us if you need more information.

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