Beer tax; reporting the transportation of untaxed beer

If you want to transport untaxed beer, you need a special permit and registration to participate in the computerised transport and control system EMCS.


If you transport beer or mixed beer drinks without the products already being subject to beer tax, this is known as "transport under suspension of excise duty". The tax is suspended while the products are in transit to their final destination, where it is then levied. Alternatively, after the movement, the beer products may, under certain conditions, be used duty-free or be subject to another duty suspension procedure.

Movement under suspension of excise duty is possible in the following cases:

You are entitled to transport beer under duty suspension in the relevant tax territory. In principle, you must be a trader and have been granted one of the following authorizations:

  • Tax warehouse keeper: you operate a tax warehouse for untaxed goods. A tax warehouse is a place approved by the main customs office where products may be manufactured, processed, stored, received or dispatched under duty suspension arrangements.
  • Registered consignor: You consign goods from the place of importation for which the beer tax is suspended.

Movement under suspension of excise duty may take place:

Within Germany

  • You are allowed to transport beer products within the German tax territory
  • Transport
    • to another tax warehouse
    • to establishments which are allowed to receive beer as "registered consignees
    • to so-called beneficiaries, for example foreign armies, diplomatic missions and consular posts
    • of beer imported into the German tax territory from a country outside the European internal market (third country)

Within the European Union

  • You are entitled to transport beer within the European Union. This includes transport from, to or via other European member states.
  • Carriage
    • to another tax warehouse
    • to establishments of "registered consignees" (these are allowed to receive goods from abroad for which the beer tax is suspended).
    • to so-called beneficiaries, for example foreign armies, diplomatic missions and consular posts

Export to a third country or territory

  • You are entitled to transport beer to a place of export from the European domestic market.
  • As soon as you, as a tax warehouse keeper, registered consignor or consignee, have gained possession of the beer, you must export it immediately to a third country.

For tax control purposes, you must notify the customs authorities when you transport beer products under duty suspension. The various stages of the movement are recorded in a database, the Excise Movement and Control System (EMCS). If irregularities occur during the movement, the duty suspension ends and you have to pay tax on the products.


If you are obliged to do so, you must notify the transport electronically via an EMCS application.


As a rule, you must submit the declaration electronically. You can use the online procedure of the customs administration for this purpose:

  • Access the Customs Administration's "Internet EMCS Application" (IEA) and follow the instructions to file the declaration.
  • Click on the "Create new process" button on the application's homepage. Add the "e-VD" (electronic administrative document) form to the operation.
  • Complete and save the "Draft e-VD" form. If necessary, follow the instructions for missing information or subforms.
  • Select the "Sign" option to transmit the declaration to your responsible main customs office.
  • The EMCS application automatically checks your declaration.
  • If the verification of your declaration was successful, you will receive a message in the Internet EMCS application with a summary of the data you submitted. Otherwise, you will receive an error message.
  • In addition, you will receive a reference number for the transaction (Administrative Reference Code, ARC) and a PDF document with a list of the transaction data. The PDF document can be printed out and used to accompany your goods.
  • If the recipient has confirmed receipt of the goods in EMCS after arrival, you will receive the "notification of receipt" message, if necessary together with further information, for example in the event of a complaint.
  • If you do not send goods, but receive them, you must create such a report of receipt. To do this, use the "Incoming message" form in the Internet EMCS application.

Alternatively, you can use certain software certified by customs to declare a movement under duty suspension.

In some cases, there are exceptions to the obligation to report electronically. In this case, you must submit the report in writing:

  • Find out about the paper procedure and the so-called default procedure on the Customs Administration website.

Follow the instructions of the customs administration on the respective procedure, the requirements and the necessary forms.

The main customs office from whose district you operate your business or, if you do not operate a business, in whose district you have your residence is responsible. If your business is operated from a location outside Germany or if you do not have a place of residence in Germany, the main customs office in whose district you first appear for tax purposes is locally responsible.

Special notes

Not applicable


  • in the case of dispatch: submission of the declaration at the earliest 7 days before the start of carriage, and in any case before the start of carriage
  • for receipt: submission of the report of receipt without delay, at the latest 5 working days after the end of the transport operation.

Processing time

It usually takes 1 to 2 business days to review your application.

Required documents

  • Required Documents

    As a rule, no documents are required.
    Only in the case of delivery to so-called beneficiaries, for example foreign armies, diplomatic missions and consular representations: additionally copy of the exemption certificate.


  • Form, Bavaria-wide: Informationen und Formulare zum Papierverfahren auf der Internetseite der Zollverwaltung
    Please note

    This form has to be signed and sent to the responsible authority. You can sign the form manually and send it by email/fax or sign the form electronically with your qualified electronic signature an send it by (secure) email. If the responsible authority has set up a De-Mail account, you can also send the form by De-Mail using an sender-confirmed message.

Online procedures


  • Receipt of the declaration: There are no costs for you.
    If tax matters appear to be at risk, you may have to provide security for carriage to the main customs office.


  • Appeal
  • Action before the tax court


Responsible for editing:Bundesministerium der Finanzen

  • Online transactions, Bavaria-wide
  • Online transactions, locally limited
  • Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Form, locally limited
  • Prefillable Form, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, Bavaria-wide
  • Legal bases, locally limited
  • Fees, Bavaria-wide
  • Fees, locally limited

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