Cross-border alcohol: the revision process of the EU Directive

In December 2020 the European Commission published the first document in the process of revising tax rules for cross-border purchases for alcohol and tobacco and opened a roadmap for feedback.

The Commission document (called Inception Impact Assessment) is the first of two formal open opportunities for civil society to give input. The Inception Impact Assessment is focussed on the process going forward. The next opportunity will be a public consultation in early 2021, focusing on a coming legislative proposal’s content.

NordAN submitted its opinion today, on January 5th 2021. You can find the full feedback HERE.

“The Nordic Alcohol and Drug Policy Network (NordAN) is encouraged by the current initiative and welcomes its appropriate view on the problem that cross-border trade causes for the Member States. It is very encouraging to see that the Inception Impact Assessment links the issue with the European plan to fight cancer,” the opinion stated.

“In addition, NordAN wants to stress, especially based on the experience of Finland and Estonia, cross-border trade, as it has been regulated thus far, undermines the whole alcohol policy, not only the effectiveness of excise tax as a measure. The effectiveness of alcohol policies partly rely on the population’s support, but this is weakened by the situation caused by cross-border trade. It is easy to understand that citizens won’t support raising alcohol taxes in a case where tens of millions of tax money is left in a neighbouring country. To a certain extent, this dissatisfaction extends to the whole alcohol policy and governments ability to introduce new measures and explain the effectiveness of different interventions.”

More about the initiative and opinions from other organisations can be found here