Global

Details

  • Service: Tax, Global Indirect Tax
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 7/10/2014

Portugal - Excise taxation of cigarettes referred to CJEU 

July 10:  The European Commission today announced a decision to refer Portugal to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) for failing to change its excise duty rules related to the marketing of cigarettes.

According to the EC release, Portugal provides a time limit for the sale of cigarettes which is linked to the fiscal stamp on the packaging. The design of the tax markings in Portugal changes regularly, and a new tax rate frequently applies with the new marking. Cigarettes cannot be sold any later than three months after the end of the year that they are released for consumption.


Under EU law (Directive 2008/118/EC), excise duty on tobacco products must be charged at the rate applicable on the date on which they are released for consumption. There is no provision under EU law allowing EU Member States to add supplementary duty to this release-date tax rate, or to limit the distribution of tobacco products for fiscal reasons.


The EC announced that because Portugal’s rules are not compliant with EU law (following the release of two reasoned opinions, in 2012 and in 2013), the case is being referred to the CJEU.




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