New legal framework for excise and general arrangements – Council Directive 2020/262


A new legal framework for excise and general arrangements has been introduced by the Council Directive  2020/262, repealing the previous Directive 2008/118/EEC, which will be in effect as of the 13th of February  2023 with transitional provisions applicable until end 2023. 

What is new? 

  • Introduction of duty paid licenses

Two new excise operator roles will be introduced for the procedure to move B2B duty paid goods to another  Member State for commercial purposes: (a) certified consignee and (b) certified consignor. The certified  consignee will be able to receive excise goods in duty paid status, while the certified consignor will be able  to dispatch excise goods released for consumption (i.e. the excise duties paid) to another Member State. 

  • Digitalization of B2B duty paid transactions via EMCS

The paper based Simplified Administrative Document (SAD) currently used for the duty paid movements,  will cease to exist as from the 13th February 2023 and will be replaced by an electronic Simplified  Administrative Document (e-SAD). Certified consignors will need to submit an e-SAD to the Member State  of dispatch by using the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS).  

Some Member States have indicated that they are not yet ready for the implementation of the e-SAD. One  of such countries is The Netherlands, which will implement a temporary solution in two phases: (a) an  automated procedure using a converter for the duty suspended trade flows and (b) a paper-based  emergency procedure for duty paid trade flows. The Netherlands currently expects to be able to apply the  Directive by the 1st of October 2023 at the latest, after which the temporary solution will lapse. Belgium on  the other hand has indicated to be ready for the EMCS 4.0 roll out and the required license types will be  available as of the 13th of February 2023. 

  • Introduction of a common partial loss threshold

The new Directive also introduces a common partial loss threshold for goods under the duty suspension  arrangement. A partial loss won’t be considered as a release for consumption if the total amount of loss falls  below a common partial loss threshold. Delegated acts will be adopted by the Commission in order to  establish the common thresholds based on different factors such as the nature of the goods, the physical  and chemical characteristics of the goods, the ambient temperature existing during the movement and the  distance or time consumed during the movement. In case of absent common partial loss threshold, national  provisions will continue to be applied by the Member States.