EuroHealthNet has worked with the Smoke Free Partnership to produce a Joint Position Paper on the revision of Article 32 of Directive 2008/118/EC (from 13 February 2023 Directive (EU) 2020/262) on the cross-border acquisitions of excise goods by private individuals.
We welcome this timely initiative to review the current rules on cross-border acquisition of tobacco products which is in line with the targets set in Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan for reducing tobacco use to less than 5% and achieving a tobacco-free generation by 2040. We noted the main conclusions of the study commissioned by DG TAXUD and DG SANTE. In particular, we highlight the potential of the current rules to undermine national health policies in higher-tax Member States by increasing the volume of tobacco products purchased in lower-tax Member States.
Public health is already an objective of the current rules, and should remain at the centre of its revision. Cross-border shopping rules should support and complement the specific rules on excise duties and should not deter governments from utilising fiscal policy to improve public health. It is crucial that any update of these rules envisages the smooth application of the other EU tobacco control laws and national fiscal and public health policies.
EuroHealthNet also supported the Smoke Free Partnership in writing its response to the consultation of the revision of the directive on cross-border acquisitions of excise goods. Find the consultation response here.