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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 June 2012

Taxation: Commission requests Hungary to end the excise duty exemption of pálinka

The European Commission has requested Hungary to amend its legislation that grants an exemption from excise duty to fruit distillates (pálinka) under certain conditions.

Hungary exempts "pálinka" from excise duty when it is produced by households or distilleries for personal use, up to a maximum of 50 litres a year.

Excise duties for alcohol are harmonised under EU legislation (Directive 92/83/EEC). Under that Directive, Hungary is allowed to grant a 50% reduction of the normal excise rate to "pálinka" produced by distilleries, for personal use, up to 50 litres a year. The exemption applied by Hungary to the production of pálinka therefore goes beyond what is allowed under EU legislation.

The request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (the second stage of an infringement procedure). If the legislation is not brought into compliance within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.


For press releases on infringement cases in the taxation or customs field see:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/464

For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see:

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

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