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Reporting the transport of untaxed tobacco products
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
If you transport tobacco products without them already being subject to tobacco tax, this is referred to as "transport under suspension of excise duty". The tax is suspended as long as the tobacco products are on their way to their final destination, where it is then levied if necessary. Alternatively, after the movement, the tobacco products may, under certain conditions, be used duty-free or placed in a tax warehouse under suspension of excise duty.
Movement under suspension of excise duty is normally possible in the following cases:
You are entitled to transport tobacco products within the German tax territory. The transport is possible
- to another tax warehouse. A tax warehouse is a place approved by the main customs office where the tobacco products may be manufactured, handled, processed, stored, received or dispatched under tax suspension.
- to establishments that are allowed to use the tobacco products tax-free.
- to so-called beneficiaries, for example foreign armies, diplomatic missions and consular posts.
- of tobacco goods imported into the German tax territory from a country outside the European Union (third country or third territory) and forwarded to a tax warehouse, to users or so-called beneficiaries.
- You are entitled to transport tobacco products within the European Union. This includes transport from, to or via other European Member States.
- You are entitled to transport tobacco products to a place outside the European Union, i.e. to a third country or third territory.
If you want to transport tobacco products under duty suspension, you must notify the customs authorities for excise monitoring. The various stages of the movement are recorded in a database, the computerised Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS). If irregularities occur during the transport, the tax suspension ends and the tobacco products must be taxed.
If you transport exclusively within the German tax territory to the premises of users, a simplified procedure applies.
With the appropriate approval from the main customs office, you can transport tobacco products as a tax warehouse keeper or registered consignor in a simplified procedure under duty suspension without using the electronic EMCS procedure.
As a rule, you must submit the transport declaration electronically. Among other things, you can use the online procedure of the customs administration for this purpose:
- Call up the Customs Administration's "Internet EMCS Application" ("IEA") and follow the instructions for filing.
- Click on the button "Create new process" on the start page of the application. Add the "e-VD" (electronic administrative document) form to the operation.
- Complete and save the "Draft e-VD" form. If necessary, follow the instructions for missing information or subforms.
- Select the "Sign" option to transmit the declaration to your responsible main customs office.
- The EMCS application automatically checks your declaration.
- If the verification of your declaration was successful, you will receive a message in the Internet EMCS application with a summary of the data you submitted. Otherwise, you will receive an error message.
- In addition, you will receive a reference number for the EMCS transaction (Administrative Reference Code, ARC) and a PDF document with a list of the transaction data. The printed PDF document or a commercial document showing the reference number is used to accompany your goods.
- If, after the arrival of the goods, the consignee has confirmed receipt in EMCS, you will receive the "notification of receipt" message, possibly together with further information, for example in the event of a complaint.
- If you do not send the goods but receive them, you must create such a report of receipt as a recipient. To do this, use the "report of receipt" form in the Internet EMCS application.
Alternatively, you can use certain software certified by Customs to declare a movement under duty suspension.
In some cases, there are exceptions to the requirement to declare the shipment electronically. In this case, you must submit the declaration in writing:
- Find out about the so-called default procedure (paper procedure) on the Customs Administration website.
- Follow the instructions of the customs administration on the respective procedure, the requirements and the necessary forms.
The main customs office from whose district you operate your business or, if you do not operate a business, in whose district you have your residence is responsible. If your business is operated from a location outside Germany or if you do not have a place of residence in Germany, the main customs office in whose district you first appear for tax purposes is locally responsible.
If you are obliged to do so, you must notify the transport electronically in advance via the EMCS application.
Which documents are required?
- As a rule, you do not have to submit any documents.
- In the case of deliveries to so-called beneficiaries, for example foreign armies, diplomatic missions and consular posts, a copy of the exemption certificate (issued by the beneficiary) must also be submitted.
What are the fees?
There are no costs for the receipt of the notification of carriage.
If tax matters appear to be at risk, you may have to provide security for the transport to the main customs office. For transport to or via other Member States, a security must always be provided and must be valid in all Member States.
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
- in the case of dispatch: submission of the notification of transport at the earliest 7 days before the start of transport, in any case before the start of transport
- in the case of receipt: submission of the report of receipt without delay, at the latest 5 working days after arrival of the goods
The processing of the technical registration for the "Internet EMCS application" (communication master data) usually takes 2 to 4 weeks.
- In the event of an irregularity during transport under suspension of excise duty, tobacco tax arises and you will receive a tax assessment notice. Detailed information on how to lodge an appeal in this case can be found in your tax assessment notice.
- Action before the tax court
Applications / forms
Online procedure: yes
Written form required: yes
Personal appearance required: no
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Finance