UNHARMONIZED ITALIAN CONSUMPTION TAXES: CONFLICTING RULES ON SOME ENERGETIC PRODUCTS AND USEFUL TIPS FOR SMOKERS
The final part of the Italian Excise Act (TUA) is dedicated to national consumption taxes applying on specific energy products and smoking surrogates and accessories. Indeed, the third chapter of the TUA referrers to regulation not harmonized on European level, which in some cases seems to be an exceptional fiscal entity. Products like lubricant oils and petroleum bitumen, despite being including in the vast NC-code group of the energetic products under monitoring of the tax authorities, in Italy are subject to dedicated regulation and taxation.
Lubricant oils – whether or not descending from hydrocarbons – are considered and taxed with their own rate (0,79 € per kg), when used for chemical proposes; as a motor fuel; and as heating. Exemptions apply for using during the processing of natural or synthetic rubber and for the manufacture of related products and for the production of plastic materials, resins and glues. Furthermore, Ministerial Decree 557/1996 dedicates a specific article to the exemptions provided for the use of such products in the production of pesticides for fruit plants. Petroleum bitumen rates (0,31 € per kg) do not apply when the product is used as fuel for cement plants and when is necessary to create constructions materials, including panels.
The liable subject for consumption taxes – just like the plastic tax – can be either the national manufacturer or the importer for extra-UE goods; for arrivals intra-UE (from another EU member States). Compliance and payments are responsibility of the Italian purchaser on commercial trades (B2B) or the EU vendor, (through a tax representative), for distance sales (B2C).
Administrative obligations for producers and traders of both lubricating oils and petroleum bitumen fall under the umbrella of products subject to excise duty. A license issued by A.D.M. is required together with burdens, guarantees and compliance similar to an excise tax warehouse. Excise duty is also a benchmark in terms of losses, declines and refunds. Even the circulation of products, inspired to that under suspension of excise duty, takes place with specific documentation:
• from the EU to Italy: CAR issued by the EU sender through LUB platform of the Italian customs;
• Italy to Italy: national eSAD or XAB waybill, depending on the recipient.
Finally, some tips for smokers travelling to Italy.
Any liquids to be inhaled without burning can only be purchased in fiscally licensed shops subject to rigorous fiscal compliance (accounting, guarantees, compliance, etc.). Taxation of these products is determined as a variable percentage on the excise duty applying on the equivalent and conventional quantitative of cigarettes, in kilograms.
An explicit prohibition applies on “distance purchases” in Italy for tobacco accessory-products for smoking destined for Italy, which can be found exclusively in “tabaccheria” - iconic retailers authorized by A.D.M. which also hold exclusivity for the sale of cigarettes.