Excise regulations for wine and sparkling wine

General information

Wines and sparkling wines are not subject to excise duty in Austria. In addition, movements of wine and sparkling wine under duty suspension within Austria's tax territory are exempt from procedural obligations (EMCS). Austrian excise legislation does not impose any obligations either with regard to movements of wine and sparkling wine in free circulation within its tax territory.

However, as excise goods within the meaning of the Excise System Directive (EU) 2020/262, the production and cross-border movement of sparkling wine and wine are subject to certain EU procedural requirements. The tax revenue of those EU Member States where wines and/or sparkling wines are subject to excise duty is to be secured. The provisions of the duty suspension procedure continue to apply to movements of wine and sparkling wine even if the rate of excise duty applicable in every EU Member State involved in the movement is zero. Accordingly, movements of wine and sparkling wine in free circulation must be carried out using the "simplified accompanying document" (VSt 2).

The goods category "wine and other fermented beverages" includes the sub-categories "non-sparkling" and "sparkling".

Movements under the duty suspension procedure

Movements under duty suspension with other EU Member States must be carried out using the "Excise Movement and Control System" (EMCS). A permit from the Customs Office is required if shipping these items under the duty suspension procedure to another EU Member State (an exemption is in place for Small Wine Producers). With this permit, the business is considered to be a tax warehouse for the intra-Community shipment or procurement of wine or sparkling wine (tax warehouse fiction).

"Small Wine Producers"

Wine producers with an average production of less than 1,000 hectolitres per wine year (defined as 1 September of one year to 31 August of the following year) qualify as "Small Wine Producers." Although Small Wine Producers are still required to report shipments under duty suspension in the EMCS, there is provision for them to use a simplified approval procedure. Such businesses are deemed to have approval to send wine to other EU Member States under duty suspension, as soon as they notify the Customs Office in writing that they wish to commence the shipment. Although no formal tax warehouse permit will be issued in this situation, the business concerned will be issued with an ATV number and registered in the SEED database. Other obligations, in particular the obligation to issue an electronic administrative document (e-AD) when transporting goods under duty suspension to other EU Member States, also apply to "Small Wine Producers".

In order to be able to purchase wine or sparkling wine from other EU Member States from tax warehouses or registered consignors, you can apply for a permit as a registered consignee.

Movements in free circulation

Intra-Community procurement

The procedure for procurement for commercial purposes, including the obligation to notify the Customs Office before each purchase and the allocation of an excise number, must be applied.

Where wine or sparkling wine is sent to Austria for commercial purposes from the free circulation of other EU Member states, the simplified accompanying document is used. The formal procedure must be complied with at all times, even if no tax is payable on wine in the country of dispatch (e.g. Germany or Italy) and in Austria.

This provision does not apply to Small Wine Producers, provided that the wording "Wine in free circulation for tax purposes – Small Wine Producer pursuant to Article 40 of EU Directive 2020/262 of the Council of 16 December 2008" is clearly and legibly entered in another accompanying document to be issued in accordance with wine legislation. Under these circumstances, the accompanying document according to "wine law" replaces the simplified accompanying document VSt 2.

However, prior notification (by means of form VSt 21) and payment of the security deposit are not required for movements of wine and sparkling wine. In order to complete the procedure in the appropriate manner, the Customs Office, upon request and presentation of the simplified accompanying document, certifies that the wine has entered the consignee's premises.

From 13 February 2023, in implementation of Directive (EU) 2020/262, the EMCS procedure will be extended to the cross-border procurement of wines and sparkling wines in free circulation.

Intra-Community shipment

The simplified accompanying document is also used as accompanying documentation for intra-Community shipments for commercial purposes of wine and sparkling wine (an exemption is in place for Small Wine Producers). The requirement to notify the Customs Office in advance does not apply either to such shipments.

From 13 February 2023, in implementation of Directive (EU) 2020/262, the EMCS procedure will be extended to the cross-border shipment of wines and sparkling wines in free circulation.

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Last update: 1 January 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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