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Excise duty on beverage containers – when do you need to pay the duty?

Importers, producers and beverage packaging companies whose products include soft drinks and alcoholic drinks are subject to the excise duty on beverage containers. The duty must be paid on retail packages such as bottles and cans. Beverage containers deemed as ‘retail packages’ are bottles, cans, etc. of max. 5 litres. The excise duty is €0.51 per litre of beverage ready for consumption as is.

Products subject to excise duty

Excise duty on beverage containers must be paid on containers that contain beverages that belong to Chapter 22 of the Customs Tariff and are intended for consumption as is.

Accordingly, excise duty must be paid on the packaging of:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • malt drinks
  • water
  • soft drinks
  • juice
  • drink products based on coffee or tea
  • sports drinks
  • other non-alcoholic beverages

The product’s commodity code determines whether or not excise duty must be paid. Containers subject to excise duty may be made of glass, plastic or aluminium, etc.

Exempted types of beverage containers

You do not have to pay excise duty on beverage containers that are:

  • Accepted by the deposit system for returnable cans and bottles and are either reusable through re-filling or through recycling the container’s raw materials;
  • Manufactured of liquid package carton; or
  • Filled immediately before they are sold, intended for drinking immediately after purchase.

When are exemptions from duty granted for returnable bottles and cans?

You do not have to pay excise duty on beverage containers that satisfy these requirements:

  • the deposit system of returnable containers is officially approved by the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment in Pirkanmaa (ELY);
  • your company is a registered member of a community of producers; and
  • your drink or beverage is an approved product within the deposit system.

The Province of Åland has a directory of drink producers of its own.

After buying beverage containers you become liable for sending an advance notice

When you bring any products to Finland that are subject to national excise duties elsewhere in the European Union, you must submit an advance notice to the Tax Administration. Submitting the notice is mandatory if you are a casual importer. Holders of an import licence are not required to submit it. If your business activities involve imports of beverage containers or if you receive beverage containers in Finland, you are required to submit the notice.

You can log in to MyTax to submit an advance notice.

Submitting the advance notice in MyTax

Read more about advance notices

Go to MyTax

File a tax return and pay the excise duty

You can pay the excise duty in MyTax.

How to file and pay excise duty on beverage containers

Go to MyTax

You also have the option to file the return through the Tax Administration’s API.

Vero API interfaces

The duty on beverage containers does not concern small producers

An independent small producer or manufacturer is exempted from the duty if 

  • The company is legally and financially independent of other manufacturers or producers in the business sector, and
  • For each calendar year, the company delivers no more than 70,000 litres of beverages packaged in containers and released for consumption

On request of the Tax Administration, the company must provide reliable proof of its independence from others and of its production volumes per calendar year.

A company that imports drinks or beverages into Finland is also exempted from the duty if evidence can be provided that the imports only consist of goods obtained from an independent small producer.

Small producers must register with the Tax Administration

Independent small producers do not need to pay the excise duty on beverage containers, but they are required to submit a notification of registration to the Tax Administration and be entered in the register of small producers.

Every year during January and February (no later than end of February), all small producers of soft drinks and beverage containers must verify their status and currently registered data with the Tax Administration.

Log in to MyTax to submit your notification of registration.

Why must independent small producers provide reports concerning received financial support?

Under EU law, the exemption from excise duties granted to small producers falls under the category of financial support received from the state. However, it is considered a state aid consisting of small amounts as referred to in Council Regulation (EU) concerning ‘de minimis aid’.

Maximum amount of public financial support is €300,000 over a period of 3 consecutive tax years.

Accordingly, small producers are required to provide reports to the Tax Administration detailing all the aid and financial support they receive from different public authorities during the ongoing tax year and two preceding tax years.

The Tax Administration issues a statement indicating the total amount of support provided by the Tax Administration during the year.

Read more about de minimis aid (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment)

Further information and guidance

Page last updated 6/7/2024