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Analysis

Planned changes to the rules applicable to completely denatured ethyl alcohol with respect to exemption from excise duty

Excise Duty Express 14/2016 | 18 October 2016

A bill amending the Excise Duty Act, with proposed changes to excise duty regulations governing completely denatured ethyl alcohol, dated 5 October 2016, has been published on the website of the Government Legislation Center.

Reason for the planned changes

As specified in the explanatory memorandum, the proposed amendments are mainly aimed to rule out the possibility of complete denaturing of alcohol in Poland with the use of additional denaturing procedures recognized by individual EU member states, as referred to in Commission Regulation (EC) No 3199/93 on the mutual recognition of procedures for the complete denaturing of alcohol for the purposes of exemption from excise duty. Specifically, this concerns alcohol denatured using the method specified by Hungary, in which case, as it follows from the explanatory memorandum, the competent authorities have identified irregularities in purification within the territory of Poland.

Scope of the planned changes

Amendments to the Excise Duty Act with respect to exemption of completely denatured ethyl alcohol from excise duty

The amending law is to repeal Article 30.9.1 of the Excise Duty Act, which forms the legal basis for exemption of completely denatured ethyl alcohol which is imported, acquired in an intra-Community transaction or produced in Poland from excise duty, in addition to incorporating new provisions of Article 30.9.1a-1c.

Under the additional provisions, exemption from excise duty will apply to completely denatured ethyl alcohol:

  • produced in Poland, only if it is denatured using a denaturing procedure recognized in all EU member states (euro-denaturant) or additional denaturing procedures recognized by Poland, as referred to in Commission Regulation (EC) No 3199/93 on the mutual recognition of procedures for the complete denaturing of alcohol for the purposes of exemption from excise duty;
  • acquired in an intra-Community transaction, only if it is denatured using a denaturing procedure recognized in all EU member states (euro-denaturant) or additional denaturing procedures recognized by an EU Member State under Commission Regulation (EC) No 3199/93, where the alcohol is denatured;
  • imported, if it is denatured using a denaturing procedure recognized in all EU member states (euro-denaturant) or additional denaturing procedures recognized by Poland under Commission Regulation (EC) No 3199/93.

The proposed change will rule out the possibility of the complete denaturing of ethyl alcohol in Poland using denaturants other than the euro-denaturant or a Polish method under Commission Regulation (EC) No 3199/93. In order to qualify for exemption from excise duty, alcohol denatured completely using, for instance, the Hungarian method, will have to be denatured in Hungary and moved to Poland as part of an intra-Community acquisition transaction.

Amendments to the Excise Duty Act with respect to intra-Community acquisition of completely denatured ethyl alcohol

Another amendment to be introduced by the bill is the imposition of additional obligations for intra-Community acquisitions of completely denatured alcohol. The bill sets out the obligation to:

  • register as an excise duty payer;
  • notify the head of the competent Customs Office of a planned intra-Community acquisition.
Planned effective date

According to the published bill, the proposed changes are to enter into force within fourteen days of their being announced.

Comments on the bill were submitted by 21 October 2016.

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