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Key EU Documents

Directive 92/83/EEC the alcohol structures directive

Council Directive 92/83/EEC- on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages

This directive is intended to ensure a harmonised structural basis to the alcohol duties, it defines the alcohol products that are subject to excise duty. Details the methods by which duty must be charges, it also provides exemptions from duty and gives Member States the discretion to provide reduced rates in certain circumstances (small producers, certain products and geographical regions)

Council Directive 92/84/EEC on the approximation of the rates of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages

This Directive is aimed at approximation of minimum rates, the original proposal in 1993 was for the harmonisation of both structures and rates. However, while structures were generally harmonised agreement on full harmonisation of rates was not plausible. Final directive specified minimum rates with which Member States must comply, they have freedom to set the rates at the levels they deem appropriate on condition that the minimum rates are complied with.

Current Minimum Rates


0.748 euros per hectolitre/ degree Plato or 1/87 per hectolitre/degree of alcohol

Intermediate product

45 euros per hectolitre of product

Ethyl Alcohol

550 euros per hectolitre of pure alcohol

Wine and fermented beverages