Taxes on wine result in European Commission process against Portugal

Portugal has two months to respond satisfactorily to queries

The European Commission today opened an infringement procedure against Portugal due to excise taxes on wine, giving two months as a deadline for responding to the notification letter.

According to the community executive, “Portugal treats it like wine and incorrectly applies a zero rate to products with an alcohol content between 15% and 18% by volume and which have been enriched”, highlighting that European Union (EU) legislation “only allows the inclusion of these products in the wine category if they are produced without any enrichment”.

At the same time, Brussels argues, Portugal excludes all aromatized wines from the wine category, even if the conditions set out in EU legislation are met, which results in the application of a higher excise tax rate.

In both cases, the treatment of the above products is contrary to the definition of wine in EU excise legislation.

Portugal has two months to respond satisfactorily to the doubts, under penalty of the process progressing to the second phase, with the sending of a reasoned opinion.