EMCS – Mandatory participation in case of intra-community dispatch

  • 06/15/2023
  • Reading time 3 Minutes

Due to a new EU directive, participation in the electronic EMCS procedure has been mandatory since mid-February of this year for the intra-Community dispatch of excise products such as mineral oils, additives and alcoholic products

We would like to take the opportunity to draw your attention to the amended procedure for the intra-community dispatch of excise products which must mandatorily be observed by companies if they wish to continue to receive excise products from other EU countries or send these goods to other EU countries. 

With Directive (EU) 2020/262, the so-called Excise System Directive, the EU has restructured the administrative requirements for the trade and supply of excise goods in free circulation within the EU. The amendments have since been transposed into German law and have been in force and applicable since February 13, 2023. 

The amendment affects excise goods such as mineral oils and biofuels, additives or alcohol (beer, wine, sparkling wine, brandy or industrial alcohol).  

Since February 13, 2023, the following applies: 

  • Supplies for commercial purposes may only be transported from a certified consignor to a certified consignee.  

  • For the purchase of excise goods from other EU countries, an authorization as a certified consignee must be applied for in advance at and issued by the customs. 

  • For the dispatch of excise goods to other EU countries, the consignor also requires an authorization as certified consignor which must also be applied for at and granted by customs before the goods are shipped.  

  • Authorization as a certified consignee or consignor is granted only to persons whose tax reliability is not in doubt and who have properly kept books. In addition, when applying as a certified consignee, a security deposit must be provided for the excise duties incurred. 

  • An electronic Simplified Administrative Document (e-SAD)must be used for dispatch. This requires access to the IT system EMCS (Excise Movement Control System). The shipment must be recorded via EMCS and be verifiable by customs.  

The general tax system, however, does not change. The goods’ recipient, formerly the purchaser, now the certified consignee, is still required to provide corresponding security deposits to customs, to submit tax declarations for the received goods in due time and to pay the self-calculated taxes to the customs within the legal deadlines. 

If deliveries are made outside the EMCS system or from or to parties who are not a certified consignor/consignee, this constitutes, in legal terms, an irregularity. This triggers, on the one hand, an immediate obligation to declare and pay taxes; on the other hand, it entails the risk that such approach might result in criminal penalties and fines as attempted tax evasion. 

All companies trading with excise goods are well advised to check whether the tax regulations and in particular the administrative requirements in force since February have been implemented and are observed in order to avoid possible sanctions, back taxes or delays in deliveries.  

In our experience, in particular companies whose business activities’ focus is not on the trading in such products, are subject to an increased risk. This includes, inter alia, companies operating in the outdoor, camping, and home and garden sectors (DIY stores and garden centers). Among other things, they sell gas stoves, gas heaters, gasoline-powered tools and consumables, etc., which are generally classified as excise products. In this respect, such companies should also check whether they fall under the new regulations. 

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Authors of this article

Sebastian Billig


Attorney-at-Law (Rechtsanwalt)

Sven Pohl


Attorney-at-Law (Rechtsanwalt)

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