Excise Goods

“Excise duties are indirect taxes on the sale or use of specific products, such as alcohol, tobacco and energy. The revenue from these excise duties goes entirely to the country to which they are paid”.

- European Commission

Excise duties create higher prices, paid by the consumer as a means to discourage personal consumption or waste.



  • Excise goods must be imported into the EU by completing an EU Import Declaration and paying excise and other duties. 
  • Excise duty goods can then be moved within the EU under duty suspension with an e-AD (electronic Administrative Document) by following these steps: 
    • Get your eAD approved in the Member State the goods are being sent from. The excise numbers of the consignor/ consingee will be checked on SEED (A European register of operators).
    • The eAD will be sent from the host Member State to the Member State receiving the goods.
    • The eAD will be sent to the consignee by the destination Member State.
    • A  “report of receipt” will be submitted by the consignee when the excise goods have been received. Any abnormalities of the consignment should be listed (including shortages and surpluses)
    • The “report of receipt” will be sent to the consignor, to release the movement and regain any financial guarantees placed for the excise goods.
  • The Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS) monitors the movement of excise goods under duty suspension electronically. This system is not connected to the EMCS system in the UK and cannot be used by UK economic operators in the EU.
  • Excise goods imported into the EU from the UK are subject to excise duties in the EU. The rate of duty charged will be determined by:
    • The country importing the good or,
    • The country where the good will be consumed (if moving under duty suspension)
  • Paying excise duties can be done immediatately, or the goods can be placed in a tax warehouse. Alternatively the EMCS system can be used for the onward movement of goods to their end destination (but a  registered consignor is required to do this).




  • Complete a customs declaration when the excise goods arrive the United Kingdom from the EU. 
  • Customs Freight Simplified procedures (CFSP) will enable you to import certain goods, including alcohol and tobacco into the UK without completing a full customs declaration in advance. Other excise goods cannot use simplified procedures. To use simplified declarations for imports:
  • The following can no longer be used to import excise duty paid goods into the UK:
    • a Simplified Accompanying Administrative Document (SAAD)
    • EU distance-selling arrangements

Moving imported or exported excise duty suspended goods within the UK

  • To move imported or exported excise duty suspended goods from their UK entry point to their final destination use the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS).
  • You will need to find or apply to become a “registered consignor” to move goods.
    • A registered consignor application will take around 45 days. Apply now.
  • An electronic administrative document (eAD) should be completed by the registered consignor using the EMCS before the movement takes place.
  • Then an Administrative Reference Code (ARC) will be created for the movement of the good.
  • For exporting excise goods, the registered consignor will then need to complete a customs export declaration using the National Export System (NES).
  • When an accepted export notification on the EMCS is  received, the goods are cleared by customs.
  • You will receive a ‘report of export’ which will ensure the export is closed on EMCS.

The information provided on these pages does not constitute legal advice and is subject to change in line with government rules and laws. While BritCham will endeavour to keep the information on these pages as current as possible, we advise you to seek expert independent legal advice an any matters relevant to your situation.