Estonian tax authority focused on smuggling, not alcohol, on Estonian-Latvian border

Commenting on the extensive coverage that the media has given to cheaper taxes in Latvia leading to Estonians crossing the border to purchase alcohol on the Latvian side, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) has said that their focus is on smuggling and smugglers, and that bringing alcohol across the border from Latvia for one’s own consumption is a lawful activity.

The MTA pointed out that an adult person arriving in Estonia from another EU member state can bring with them for personal use up to 110 liters of beer, up to 90 liters of wine and up to 10 liters of strong alcoholic beverages, as well as 20 liters of other alcoholic beverages.

Several Estonian media outlets have reported in recent weeks about stores on the Latvian side of the Estonian-Latvian border reaping large profits from cross-border trade, as many people from Estonia prefer to stock up on alcohol in Latvia, where lower taxes have meant considerably lower alcohol prices overall.

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