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Excise duty refund on diesel for road transport: publication of new refund rates


Greece establishes new legislative framework accompanied by a digital registry and an electronic system that is put into action in order to identify and tackle counterfeit spirits.

For decades, alcohol testing has been an ongoing challenge for state laboratories not only in Greece but in numerous EU member states. Chasing excise duty fraud is only one side of the “coin”. The other side is combating the illegal production and trade of hazardous alcoholic beverages, containing methanol or other alcohols that may put human health at risk.

In December of 2021 the Ministry of Finance together with the Independent Authority of Public Revenue issued a decree presenting a new digital solution to fight and seize the illicit production and trade of counterfeit alcoholic drinks in Greece.

In practice, the new “piece” of legislation refers to the systematic use of a registry and an electronic system identifying and monitoring both the economic operators handling alcoholic beverages, in terms of production and trade, and also the alcoholic beverages that are placed into free circulation and consumption in the local market. Additionally, the new system supports the efficiency and effectiveness of physical inspections and commercial audits made by state Authorities. In Jan of 2024 the referred legislation was amended in order to further modernize it and to broaden the operational scope both for operators and state agency inspectors.

Overview of new “methodology” of procedures

Who is in?

All natural and legal persons who produce, import, receive from other EU MS or from within Greece alcoholic beverages which are becoming available in the local wholesale market (alcoholic spirits) excluding wine and beer.

The State auditing mechanism consists of the Directorate of Excise Duties & VAT and the Directorate of Alcohol & Food Products, (both agencies of the Independent Authority of Public Revenue).

What is the process like? 

All persons are obliged to record in the system, all inbound movements of ready-made alcoholic beverages, such as production, import, or receipt from an EU country along with all outbound movements like export, delivery to another member state, delivery as a ship supply or even delivery in the retail market within Greece. Entries in the system shall be made within (5) five working days from physical movement of alcoholic drinks.

Information and details to be recorded include:

  • The legal name of the producer; the LOT number and date of production; the commercial name of the product; the quantity in terms of packaging (bottles). The type of transaction raised, for instance: Production, purchase from Greece or relatively Export, delivery to an EU member state etc.

  • The type of legal commercial document issued for such transaction such as invoice, delivery note and similar.

  • The date of the actual transaction and the person with whom the transaction took place.


What is at stake?


A transitional period was given to economic operators both for registration purposes (up until January the 10th of 2024) but also for entering/recording of movements purposes (up until the 30th of the same month).

In the future, any transaction and relevant alcoholic beverage which is not recorded in the system, will become subject to severe audits and fines not limited to administrative status, but rather the criminal one. Certain provision allow the recording of alcoholic beverages that operators may have available in stock before certain dates.



How can we interconnect and use such systems in Pan European level to abolish the phenomenon of counterfeit spirits?


Can such systems become the “pilot project” for something greater, to cover not only “excisable” products such fuel oils marked with dyes for certain uses (agro, heating etc) and the problem of oil laundering to remove such dye markers, but also other consumer products? Do we have to wait for the adoption of blockchain technology throughout the EU or can we solve this now with similar practices but most of all through the active co-operation of all EU Member states?

It seems that it takes more than two to tango in Europe.                                                

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