Movement of excise goods

Excise goods can be procured or dispatched for commercial purposes under duty suspension (i.e. without incurring a tax liability) or as goods in free circulation (in the case of goods on which duty has already been incurred) but will require certain approvals and accompanying documents. The decision over the particular procedure to be followed is in some cases prescribed in law, while in other cases it may be a matter of free choice between the operators involved, depending for example on the size of the business, frequency of deliveries, etc. In all cases, however, it is important that the operators make prior contact with the customs authority responsible (→ BMF)German text (from 1 January 2021, the Austrian Customs Authority for the entire fiscal territory).


In general, these regulations also apply to traders from EU Member States in Austria.

Excise goods include the following:

  • alcohol and goods containing alcohol,
  • beer,
  • sparkling wine, still wine and intermediate goods,
  • mineral oils, motor fuels and heating fuels,
  • tobacco products.

Movement of excise goods under duty suspension

Since 1 April 2010, the previous – solely paper-based – procedure has been replaced in Austria by the EMCS (Excise Movement and Control System). In the EU since 1 January 2011, all businesses supplying excise goods under duty suspension are required to manage the dispatch of the goods through EMCS, i.e. using an electronic administrative document (e-AD). This administrative document must meet the requirements specified in Regulation (EC) No 684/2009, implementing Directive 2008/118/EC in relation to the e-AD based procedure for the supply of excise goods under duty suspension. Participation in the procedure requires a corresponding authorisation from the competent customs authority (→ BMF)German text (from 1 January 2021: Customs Office Austria), it is reserved for holders of tax warehouses, registered consignors, registered consignees and certain privileged recipients (e.g. diplomatic missions, international institutions).

An administrative reference code (ARC) will be issued as evidence that the necessary administrative data have been recorded and an e-AD issued under the EMCS system. The goods must be accompanied by the e-AD or a document showing the ARC.

Movement of excise goods in free circulation

The system for commercial movement of goods in free circulation continues to be paper-based, using a simplified accompanying document. The content of this document must meet the requirements of Regulation (EEC) No 3649/92 and the excise goods must be accompanied by this document during movement. In place of the administrative document, a commercial document (business documents such as invoices, delivery notes, bills of lading) of comparable layout and content may be used.

Proper use of the procedure is conditional on appropriate registration with the customs authority (→ BMF)German text responsible and is coupled with certain obligatory notifications (notification of intended procurement; notification of first transfer to other Member States).


Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 1 January 2021

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Finance

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