UEIL Opposes Tax Proposal


The European Commission is once again considering a proposal to bring lubricants into its Excise Movement and Control System, and the Union of the European Lubricants Industry is once again working to block the bid.

In its March newsletter, UEIL’s Taxation Task Force said the change that would affect lubes is being considered as part of a revision to the European Union’s Energy Taxation Directive, which is scheduled to be adopted during the second or third quarter of this year.

Like many, many products, lubricants sold in the EU are already subject to excise tax, but they do not fall under the EMCS, a system that tracks goods crossing between countries to ensure the tax is paid upon ultimate sale to the end user.

Representatives from some EU member states have called for bringing lubricants into the system because of concerns about counterfeiting. UEIL has opposed previous efforts to include lubes in EMCS on the basis that it would significantly increase administrative tasks and costs for marketing companies.

The Taxation Task Force said it is working to help craft a definition of lubricants that would mollify supporters of the proposed change without exposing lube marketers to new requirements.

Similar proposals have come before the commission but failed to win approval several times previously, most recently in 2015. UEIL helped defeat that bid by convincing a minority of member states to vote against it. At that time UEIL officials said they expected the issue would arise again – a prediction that turned out to be prescient.