• Equalization of excise burden on strong alcoholic beverages a prerequisite for joining the EU

    Five years after the explanatory and bilateral screening, Negotiating Chapter 16, which refers to taxation, has not been open for negotiations. According to the 2016 and 2017 EC reports, the key problem standing in the way of opening the chapter is the unequal excise burden on domestic and imported coffee and strong alcoholic beverages.

    The amendments to the Excise Law, introduced in 2018, eliminated fiscal discrimination in terms of the excise tax that need to be paid on imported and domestic coffee products, but missed the opportunity to equalize the tax treatment of strong alcoholic beverages. The amendments to the law last year did not solve this problem either, and this year Chapter 16 will most likely remain closed for negotiations. Therefore, the basic recommendation of this policy brief concerns the Ministry of Finance, which should initiate amendments to the Law on excises in order to equalize the excise burden on different types of strong alcoholic beverages.

    The publication was published within the project “Prepare to participate“, which is jointly implemented by CEP, National Alliance for local economic development – NALED and Center for Contemporary Policy (CSP) through the European Western Balkans portal (EWB). The author is Policy Advisor in NALED.

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