Brewers’ response to the Council’s adoption of a new EU Directive on the structure of alcohol excise duties

Brewers’ response to the Council’s adoption of a new EU Directive on the structure of alcohol excise duties

The Brewers of Europe - News release

On 30 July the Council adopted amendments to Directive 92/83/EEC on the harmonisation of the structures of excise duties on alcohol and alcoholic beverages. 

Brewers fully support the additional flexibility now given to Member States to apply reduced excise duties on lower-alcohol beers, increasing the threshold at which taxes can be cut, from 2.8 to 3.5% abv. Governments are being given further opportunities to use fiscal measures to support low alcohol products and continued innovation by Europe’s dynamic brewers to meet growing consumer demand for a diverse range of lower alcohol beers.

However, the new rules on the measurement of Plato degrees will imply the unjustified over-taxation of flavoured beers in half the EU Member States. Discriminatory and totally contradictory to the harmonisation objectives of the EU Excise Directives, the decision to also tax beer’s ingredients added after fermentation is made all the more extraordinary by the fact it goes directly against the 2018 ruling of the European Court of Justice on how Plato should be applied to avoid discrimination. 

Having contested the Plato proposals from the start, see here the most recent comments from The Brewers of Europe, sent in the form of a letter to the Chair of ECOFIN in advance of the proposal’s adoption by the Council.



Simon Spillane, Communications and Public Affairs Director,, @brewersofeurope

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Based in Brussels, The Brewers of Europe brings together national brewers’ associations from 29 European countries and provides a voice to support the united interests of Europe’s 10,000 breweries. The Brewers of Europe promotes the positive role played by beer and the brewing sector in Europe and advocates the creation of the right conditions to allow brewers to continue to freely, cost-effectively and responsibly brew and market beer across Europe. Follow us on Twitter and visit our website.