CEPS Project

Study on Council Directive 1992/83/EEC on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages


The purpose of this Study was to contribute to the Impact Assessment of a possible revision of Council Directive 1992/83/EEC on the harmonisation of the structure of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages. The Study includes a baseline assessment of a series of issues emerged from the previous evaluation of the Directive and analyses how these problems may evolve if no EU action is taken. Secondly, the Study formulates a set of possible policy options to address these problems, assesses their likely impacts (legal certainty, market functioning, administrative costs, tax revenues, alcohol control policies, fraud etc.), and compares the outcome with the baseline situation.
The main issues analysed in this Study includes: the uncertainties in the excise duty classification of certain new ‘borderline’ products; the functioning of Article 27 concerning the exemptions extended to denatured alcohol; the reduced rates applicable to low-strength alcoholic beverages and to small producers; the exemption for private production and home consumption; and the disparities of methods for measuring the Plato degree of sweetened and flavoured beer.
The underlying evidence is based on the triangulation of in-depth interviews with stakeholders from the Member States, the results of an open public consultation online, a quantitative analysis of the market, and the review of other literature and documentary sources.


This project was awarded under the Framework Service Contract for the provision of evaluation and impact assessment-related services (TAXUD/2014/AO-06) with the European Commission, DG TAXUD. The full list of CEPS’ Framework Contracts is available here.

Jeanne Metivier

Felice Simonelli

Associate Senior Research Fellow