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Taxation: Commission decides to refer Poland to the Court of Justice for its rules depriving medicine producers of excise duty exemptions

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 30 oktober 2020.

The Commission decided today to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union because of its failure to align with EU rules on the exemption of imported alcohol used in the production of medicines.

EU excise duty rules provide for a mandatory exemption from excise duty for imports of ethyl alcohol used in the production of medicines. Polish national practices, however, do not grant this mandatory exemption when the alcohol importers do not choose to use a duty suspension arrangement.

This is because Polish rules do not provide for refunding excise duty paid on the import of ethyl alcohol used to produce medicines after the duty has been paid.

This practice runs against provisions of EU law on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages and the principle of proportionality (Directive 92/83/EEC).


The infringement procedure was opened in 2016 and a reasoned opinion was sent in 2019.

For More Information

The key decisions in the October 2020 infringement package

FAQ on infringements procedures, see MEMO/12/12.

On the EU infringements procedure

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