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Excise duties on non-alcoholic products in Europe: an overview

The sellers of alcoholic beverages are painfully aware of the complexities of the excise duties when selling across the different markets of the EU. However, it might not be obvious, that in some countries, even products like coffee, juice or chocolate might be subject to the local excise tax. The overview of excise duties on non-alcoholic products in this article seeks to give more clarity on the subject.

Examples of Products subject to excise:

Coffee: Even not liquid products such as coffee beans are subject to excise duty tax in countries like Germany, Belgium, Denmark. The rate might differ depending on whether the coffee is roasted etc.

Tea:  Same goes for tea in different shapes, such as teabags, sirops for tea preparation.[IB1] [IH2] 

Soft drinks: Soft drinks such as juice, sodas are subject to excise duties in some countries.

Energy drinks: a specific excise rate applies to energy drinks, generally based on the caffeine and taurine content.

Chocolate and sugar: There are even excise tax on chocolate in some countries, such as Denmark.

Legislative rules for excise duties of non-alcoholic products

Directive 2020/262 establishes the minimum levels of excise duty for soft drinks and energy drinks.

While the European Union (EU) harmonizes excise duties on certain non-alcoholic products, the Member States have the freedom to set their national rates.

It is important to mention that not only local businesses are concerned by the excise duty payments, but also distance sellers, selling their goods online to private individuals. So, if your website is offering non-alcoholic beverages, coffee, you might wish to check if your company does not have the obligation to declare and pay excise duties as well.

Excise duties overview per country:

the Ministerial Decree of April 19, 2010, relating to the excise regime for non-alcoholic drinks and coffee in Belgium (Royal Decree of April 18, 2010) establishes the practical arrangements for the taxation of non-alcoholic drinks and coffee in Belgium. It applies to producers, importers, wholesalers, and retailers of these products. For example, Belgium applies an excise rate of 6,8133 € per hl on waters with added sugar.

The Packaging tax which is also mandatory in Belgium concerns many products including mineral waters, juices.


The regulation on non-alcoholic products is determined in the law on consumption tax LBK n°1445 of 06/21/2021 which regulates the excise rates applied to chocolates and coffee, for example the excise rate on chocolates and chocolate products, cocoa paste, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and preparations of all kinds based on cocoa is DKK 25.97 per kg. The excise rate for raw coffee is 6.39 DKK per kg.


The coffee tax in Germany concerns coffee and goods containing it (§ 17 Coffee Tax Act) It is dispatched in 2 categories, first one is the roasted coffee with a tax of 2,19 EUR per kilogram, the second one is instant coffee with 4,78 EUR per kilogram. More info in our article.


A national excise duty is levied on soft drinks. Taxable products include water beverages, juices as well as various concentrates and powders intended for preparing beverages. The excise duty is also levied on certain foods for nutritional uses, sports drinks, energy gels as well as soy and oat beverages. For example, the excise duties for waters, including natural or artificial mineral waters and aerated waters, not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter, and not flavored are 13cts/ liter.

The Netherlands

There is a tax on non-alcoholic beverages in the Netherlands (called consumption tax) and mineral water is excluded. As of January 2024, the consumption tax is 26.13€ per hl.

These excise rates help generate tax revenue for Member States and discourage excessive consumption of certain products, such as energy drinks, and thus protect the public health.

Excise duties on non-alcoholic products in Europe constitute a complex system with significant variations from one Member State to another. To help your company navigate the difficult systems of excise duties, Eurotax experts offer you excise declaration and payment services in the EU. Visit our dedicated pages or contact us for more information.

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