Alcohol duty

General Information

Alcohol and goods containing alcohol produced in Austria or imported into Austria are subject to alcohol excise duty. This entails an obligation to obtain approval for the production, storage, processing and/or untaxed transfer of alcohol and to submit an alcohol excise duty return. Movement of alcohol that is in free circulation with other EU Member States must be notified in advance to the Customs Authority Austria (→ BMF)German text. Movement of alcohol under duty suspension with other EU member states or within Austria must be carried out in the "Excise Movement and Control System" (EMCS). From 13 February 2023, in implementation of Directive (EU) 2020/262, the EMCS procedure will be extended to the movement of goods subject to alcohol tax in free circulation.

Please note

The product category "alcohol and alcoholic products" includes the subcategories "spirits", "ethyl alcohol", "incompletely denatured alcohol" and "other products containing ethyl alcohol".

Enterprises Affected

Persons or associations of persons

  • who manufacture alcohol as concessionary distillers or as owners of a bonded distillery,
  • or who intend to move, store or process alcohol under duty suspension (i.e. not yet taxed) as an alcohol warehouse, registered recipient or owner of a utilisation operation.

Caution

In general, these rules also apply to businesses from EU Member States in Austria.

Requirements

Approvals are required for intended activities. These are obtained from the Customs Authority Austria (→ BMF)German text. The conditions vary according to the nature of the activity for which the application is made but will generally include a good tax record, correct and proper bookkeeping, a payment bond, where applicable the ability to seal the tax warehouse (bonded distillery, bonded alcohol warehouse) and where applicable a minimum annual turnover.

The production of alcohol under the concessionary arrangements is subject to special rules as set out in this document ("Concessionary distilleries").

Deadlines

Alcohol excise duty must be reported in writing by the 25th of each month. The quantities removed from the tax warehouse in the preceding month or withdrawn for consumption must be stated.

The tax due must be paid no later than the 25th day of the next but one calendar month after the tax liability arises. The Alkoholsteuergesetz contains various different rules concerning the submission of the tax return and the payment of alcohol excise duty, such as in cases of irregularities, for movements of alcohol in free circulation and for the production of alcohol under concessionary arrangements.

Competent authority

The Customs Authority Austria (→ BMF)German text

Mailing address: Zollamt Österreich, Conrad von Hötzendorf-Straße 14-18, 8010 Graz

Fax: 050 233 5960000

If you have any questions, the Central Customs Information Office is available Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. at 050 233 740.

E-Mail: zollinfo@bmf.gv.at

Procedure

The application for operating approval to be granted must be submitted in writing to the Customs Authority Austria.

After the tax liability has arisen, the alcohol customs duty return must be submitted in due time via EVAGerman text and FinanzOnline (→ BMF)German text. Furthermore, EVAGerman text is available for refund or reimbursement applications.

The transfer of alcohol under duty suspension is conditional on registration via EMCS and FinanzOnline (→ BMF)German text.

Documentation requirement

In general:

Anyone wishing to purchase alcohol tax-free and use it tax-free outside of a tax warehouse

  • for the production of medicines, vinegar, fortified wine for distillation,
  • denatured for the production of foodstuffs (that no longer contain any alcohol),
  • denatured for the production of goods that are neither medicines nor foodstuffs, or
  • denatured for heating or cleaning purposes or for other purposes that are not used in the manufacture of goods

requires an approval (known as an exemption certificate).

The holder of an exemption certificate must keep the following (dated) records to show what happens to the alcohol:

Utilisation operations

  • When and how much alcohol has been obtained by the utilisation operation
  • when and how much has been used in the utilisation operation (inc. purpose), and
  • when and how much has been transferred from the utilisation operation (inc. name/company and address of the purchaser) and identification of the notice providing entitlement to do so.

If the alcohol was imported into the tax territory, the date of transfer to free circulation, the identity of the customs authority where the transfer took place, and the name/company and address of the applicant must be specified.

Bonded distilleries

These must maintain a logbook of operations for each calendar year recording the start and end date and time of each use of each piece of equipment used in the production of alcohol. If measuring equipment to monitor spirits is available, then the position at the start of the year and at the end of each production of alcohol (in the case of continuous alcohol production, then at regular intervals at least once a day) must also be entered.

Furthermore, the following must be recorded:

  • The date of production, quantity and product from which the alcohol was produced
  • The date of purification, removal for consumption or destruction
  • The date of receipt, the quantity and the name/company and address of the person supplying the alcohol
  • The date of transfer, the quantity and the name/company and address of the purchaser

Alcohol warehouses

These must maintain an operations book for each calendar year. The operations book must contain the start and end date and time of each use of each piece of equipment for purifying alcohol.

Furthermore, the following must be recorded:

  • The date of purification, processing or destruction and the quantity
  • The date of receipt, the quantity and the name/company and address of the person supplying the alcohol
  • The date of processing or consumption
  • The date of transfer to free circulation
  • The identity of the customs authority where the transfer took place and the name/company and address of the applicant when the product was imported into the tax territory
  • In addition, for products transferred out of the warehouse,
  • the type of product, the date of transfer, the quantity and the name/company and address of the purchaser

Concessionary distilleries

Preconditions are that the alcohol-forming substances be self-produced and that a ‘simple distillation device’ approved (following application) by the Customs Authority Austria (→ BMF) be used. The application must include the name/company, address, storage location and an elevation diagram with a description of the distillation device and documents to support the details provided.

The quantities of alcohol on which duty is to be paid are determined from the expected alcohol yield relating to the substances (fruit/cereal type) used.
The duration of distillation is determined according to the capacity of the distillation device used and the quantity of mash.

Before commencement of distilling operations, a concessionary return (electronic concessionary return via FinanzOnline) must be made including in particular the following information:

  • The name/company and address of the applicant
  • A declaration that the applicant has sufficient quantities of self-produced alcohol-forming substances available
  • A declaration that the applicant is due to receive a tax exemption
  • A declaration of undertaking that the alcohol produced
    • will be released in small containers only to hospitality businesses and end consumers
    • will be released other than in small containers solely to proprietors of alcohol warehouses
    • will not be transferred or caused to be transferred outside the tax territory
  • The owner and storage site of the permitted simple distillation device
  • The site at which the alcohol is produced
  • The quantity, nature and yield of the self-produced alcohol-forming substances, destined for the production of alcohol, that will be processed
  • The quantity of alcohol that has been produced by distillation in the current calendar year
  • The quantity produced under the concessionary arrangements
  • The duration and timetable of distillation
  • A self-generated calculation of duty (the duty must be paid by the 25th day of the calendar month following that in which the tax liability arises)

The concessionary distiller must maintain a supervisory logbook in which details including the nature and quantity of the alcohol-forming substances destined for the production of alcohol are to be recorded. In particular, the date of production, date of transfer to alcohol warehouses and the quantity of alcohol must be entered.

The concessionary distiller must notify the customs authority (→ BMF)German text without delay of all transfers of alcohol for delivery into an alcohol warehouse. The owner of a simple distillation device must keep records on the whereabouts of the device.

Pharmacies and drug stores

In addition, the following obligations regarding record-keeping apply to pharmacies (and to some drug stores):

  1. If the alcohol has not been denatured, information must be provided on the formulation of the product
  2. Supply to doctors, dentists, veterinary surgeons, midwives or on medical prescription of 0.5 litres  or more (name and address of purchaser)
  3. Transfer or use (for medicines) of up to 3 litres

Notification requirements

  1. Production operations:
  2. notification must be given of commencement of activities.
  3. Alcohol duty returns must be submitted on a monthly basis via the EVA.
  4. Storage operations:
  5. notification must be given of commencement of activities.
  6. Alcohol duty returns must be submitted on a monthly basis via the EVA.

In addition, stocktaking must be performed annually.

Further information

Further information and manuals for SEEDGerman text, EVAGerman text and EMCS are available on the VIP (Excise Duty Internet Platform) under "Help".

Required documents

  • Name and address of the business
  • Location and territorial scope
  • A description of the operation, including a site plan
  • A site plan, elevation diagram and description of the equipment
  • A description of the production and warehousing process

Costs and fees

A fee may be charged for all official activity that is undertaken at a specific time requested by the applicant.

In addition, costs will be incurred for special monitoring, for a second and each additional alcohol assessment within one calendar month, for denaturing and for expert reports.

Further information

Duty rates

  • Alcohol duty is charged at 1.200 Euro per 100 litres of pure alcohol (standard rate).
  • Alcohol duty is reduced to 54 percent of the standard rate (i.e. 648 Euro per 100 litres of pure alcohol) when a maximum of 400 litres of pure alcohol per year is produced in a bonded distillery.
  • Alcohol duty is reduced to 54 percent of the standard rate (i.e. 648 Euro per 100 litres of pure alcohol) when a maximum of 100 litres of pure alcohol per year is produced under concessionary arrangements, and for a further 100 litres of pure alcohol the alcohol duty will be 90% of the standard rate (i.e. 1.080 Euro).

Legal bases

Expert Information

There is no expert information available.

Link to form

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 January 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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