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Greece Asked To Reform Alcohol Duties

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

25 September 2015


The European Commission has requested that Greece amend two excise duty schemes it says favor domestically produced spirits over those produced in other European Union (EU) member states.

Greece applies 50 percent of the ethyl alcohol excise duty rate and around six percent of the ordinary excise duty rate to "Tsipouro" and "Tsikoudià" when these drinks are produced in bulk by so-called "two-day" distillers (vine growers or producers of other agricultural products).

The Commission said it believes that both schemes infringe EU excise duty legislation. The same excise duty should apply for all products made with ethyl alcohol, and exemptions or derogations are provided explicitly by EU law, it said.

The Commission said that Greece does not have any derogation for "Tsipouro" or "Tsikoudià."

If Greece does not respond to the Commission's request for a change to its domestic law within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.

TAGS: compliance | tax | European Commission | tax compliance | law | excise duty | legislation | tax rates | Greece | tax breaks | tax reform | European Union (EU) | Europe

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