The establishment of the EU internal market created the need for
uniform EU excise duty laws to prevent differing excise duty reg-
ulations in the individual Member States from undermining the
functioning of the EU internal market. The EU therefore issued a
number of harmonization directives.
It should be noted that the harmonization directives only refer
to harmonized excise duties, i.e. Energy products, alcohol and
alcoholic beverages, and tobacco products.
Excise duties are not levied while the goods are still subject to
tax suspension arrangements. The transportation of products
subject to excise duties within the EU may also take place under
a tax suspension procedure. From January 2011 onwards, all
transportation of products subject to excise duties under the
suspension procedure between Member States must be ren-
dered electronically via use of the so-called Excise Movement
and Control System – EMCS (Council Directive 2008/118/EC
dated December 16 2008).