07 Dec 2021 - 07 Dec 2022

Evaluation of the rates and structures of excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages

Most of EU excise duty rules for alcohol and alcoholic beverages that are currently in force have been adopted in the early 1990s and - with the exception of the changes introduced by Directive 2020/1151 - they have never been modified. This is especially the case with the EU minimum rates laid down in Directive 92/84, as well as with the excise duty bases and structures for the different product categories, which are laid down in Directive 92/83. Not only does the lack of update raises questions on the validity and effectiveness of the current minima but, more generally, a comprehensive evaluation is required to ascertain whether the provisions and tools designed in 1992 still respond to policy needs and objectives, despite the evolution of market and consumption patterns.

In this respect, the Assignment is aimed at contributing to the periodical Commission’s evaluation report, set out in Article 8 of Directive 92/84, providing evidence-based inputs on the current application of excise duties in MS and the achievements of market functioning and public health objectives. The required study will also have to identify and investigate policy issues and needs, and formulate recommendations to address them, based inter alia on potentially scalable measures and tools adopted in Member State or third countries and/or laid down in international guidelines or the scientific literature.

The required study will have a two-pronged dimensions:

1) a retrospective dimension, consisting in evaluating the performance and achievements of the current legal framework vis-à-vis its stated objective;

2) a forward-looking dimension, focusing on the possible solutions ad approaches that might be considered to address emerging needs and priorities.

The thematic scope of the requested services embraces excise duty rates and structures on alcohol and alcoholic beverages that are laid down in Directive 92/84 and in the Directive 92/83 provisions that are connected with Directive 92/84’s regimes. It is understood that other aspects of Directive 92/83 that are not directly connected with excise duty rates and structures (e.g. exemptions for denatured alcohol, correspondences with the customs classification and the like) are outside of the scope of the evaluation. Regarding products, the Assignment will cover all harmonised categories of alcohol products, namely: beer, wine, other fermented beverages, intermediate products and ethyl alcohol.

The geographical scope will encompass the entire EU27, with case studies based on a selected sample of MS. Where relevant for comparison purposes or to analyse flows, non-EU neighbours and other third countries can be added. Regarding the temporal scope, the retrospective analysis will cover the period 2010 - to date.


The activities are subdivided into:  

(a) information gathering activities;

(b) analytical activities and

(c) reporting activities.

Client: European Commission - DG Taxud

Leader: Economisti Associati srl (Lead Firm)

Partners: CASE, Ipsos N.V. ,AND International (Sub-contractor)