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What Do Amendments to the Law on Excise Bring?

What Do Amendments to the Law on Excise Bring?

Serbia
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The Law amending the Law on Excise (Official Gazette of RS, no. 53/2021) entered into force on 5 June 2021 and its novelties refer to the excise for alcoholic beverages. 

The reason for amendments of the law was harmonisation with the European Union regulations, i.e. its directives that regulate the field of spirits and excise taxation of this category of beverages.

Alcoholic beverages, in terms of this law, are being considered: 

  • drinks that are, depending on the raw material they are produced from and ethanol content, traded as such type of beverages under the regulation on quality and other requirements for alcoholic beverages;
  • all spirits regulated by provisions governing the field of spirits;
  • low-alcohol beverages containing more than 1,2% vol of alcohol and maximum 15% vol of alcohol, that are produced from fruit juices or alcohol-free refreshments with added refined ethyl alcohol or alcoholic beverages or herb extracts or alcoholic beverages produced by fermentation (wines, apple wines – cider, pear wines – perry etc.), whereas the quality of fruit juices, refreshing alcohol-free beverages, refined ethyl alcohol, alcoholic beverages, wines and alcoholic beverages produced by fermentation must comply with the regulations on their quality;
  • all types of beer, except for alcohol-free beer containing up to 0,5% alcohol, regardless of the manner of their packaging.

Excise for spirits 

Under the previous legal solution, the basis for calculation of excise for spirits was determined according to one litter as a unit of measurement and it depended on the type of spirit. It is now stipulated that excise for spirits is paid in the amount of RSD 46,250.00 for basis consisting of one hectolitre of pure alcohol measured at 20°C temperature, and it is calculated by multiplying the basis with a number indicating the volume of alcohol expressed in hectolitres in finished product.

In this manner, the amount of excise for all spirits will be equalised, regardless of the raw material used for their production. In other words, the amount of excise will not depend on whether the spirit is made of fruit (brandy) or grain (whiskey), hence the prices of these drinks are expected to be changed.

Excise for low-alcohol beverages and beer 

The provisions regulating excise for low-alcohol beverages and beer have remained the same i.e. for these alcoholic beverages excise is still calculated based on litter as measurement unit and the amount of excise does not depend on the percentage of alcohol contained in a particular drink.

Harmonisation of the amount of excise for alcoholic drinks 

The amendments of the law stipulate that the first upcoming adjustment of dinar amounts of excise for alcoholic beverages will be in 2022, with the consumer price index in 2021.

On the day of entry into force of this law, dinar amounts of excise defined by the Law on Excise adjusted with the consumer price index for 2020 ceased to be valid (“Official Gazette of RS”, no. 11/21), in the part referring to excise for alcoholic beverages, i.e. brandy made of fruit, grapes, wine and other fruit brandies with added extra herbs, parts of herbs or farming products, a brandy made of grain and other farming raw materials and other spirits.

Labelling with control excise stamps 

Alcoholic beverages, namely brandy made of fruit, grapes, wine and other fruit brandies with added herb extract, parts of herbs of farming products, a brandy made of grain and other farming raw materials and other spirits that have been traded before entry into force of this law and which were labelled with control excise stamps in accordance with the Regulation on the appearance of control excise stamp, type of information on the stamp and manner and procedure for approval and issuance of stamps, keeping records on approved and issued stamps and labelling of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and coffee, may be traded until the end of stock.

Also, the stated alcoholic beverages for which control excise stamps have been collected before entry into force of this law are being labelled with control excise stamps in accordance with the Regulation on the appearance of control excise stamp, type of information on the stamp and manner and procedure for approval and issuance of stamps, keeping records on approved and issued stamps and labelling of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and coffee.

Starting from the day of entry into force of this law, spirits which are defined in accordance with the new legal solution, are being labelled following the Regulation on the appearance of control excise stamp, type of information on the stamp and manner and procedure for approval and issuance of stamps, keeping records on approved and issued stamps and labelling of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, and coffee, until the adoption of the regulation on their labelling.

Obligation to make stock inventory 

The amendments prescribe the obligation for producers of spirits, which are in possession of produced alcoholic beverages on the day of entry into force of this law, namely brandy made of fruit, grapes, wine and other fruit brandies with added herb extract, parts of herbs of farming products, a brandy made of grain and other farming raw materials and other spirits, to make a stock inventory as on that date for the stated products and to submit the inventory lists to the relevant tax authority within 15 days after the entry into force of this law.

This article is to be considered as exclusively informative, with no intention to provide legal advice. If you should need additional information, please contact us directly.

By Jovana Milic, Senior Associate, PR Legal

Serbia Knowledge Partner

The oldest full service commercial law firm in Serbia, founded in 1991, JPM with three decades of experience in assisting local and international businesses presence and growth not only in Serbia but throughout the SEE region.

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