Excise duty on packaging

Excise duty on packaging is imposed on all packaging brought to the Estonian market, acquired in another Member State of the European Union or imported.

Sales packaging, grouped packaging and also transport packaging are subject to excise duty.

Packaging means all products made of any materials of any nature to be used for the containment, protection, handling, delivery and presentation of goods during the entire life cycle of these goods: from raw materials to processed goods, and from the producer to the user. Non-returnable items used for the same purposes are also considered to constitute packaging. 

Classes of packaging material are: glass, plastic, paper and cardboard, metal, wood, and other material. Packaging materials not included in this list (e.g. textiles) are conceived as "other material". 

Excise duty shall be imposed on packaging upon the sale, exchange, transfer without charge, or use for self-consumption of packaging in Estonia. Excise duty is not imposed on packaging brought and exported into another Member State from Estonia.


Payer of excise duty

Excise duty on packaging filled in Estonia shall be paid by the person, who brings the packaged goods to the Estonian market for the first time and makes these available for distribution and use.

Excise duty on packaging acquired from another Member State of the European Union shall be paid by the person who acquires the packaging – takes the packaging into Estonia from another Member State for business purposes.

Excise duty on imported packaging shall be paid by the person for whom or on whose behalf the packaging was declared for release in free circulation within the meaning of the Community Customs Code. In other cases, excise duty on imported packaging shall be paid by the person when a customs debt is incurred, or who used the packaging for self-consumption.


Total relief from excise duty

1. Packaging, to which the deposit has been assigned pursuant to the Packaging Act, except metallic beverage packaging, and whereof

  • as of 1 January 2009, at least 75 per cent of every class of packaging material shall be recovered
  • as of 1 January 2012, at least 85 per cent of every class of packaging material shall be recovered

2. Metallic beverage packaging, whereof at least 40 per cent is recovered

  • as of 1 January 2010, at least 50 per cent shall be recovered;

3. Other packaging, as of 1 January 2009, recovered to the rate provided in section of 36 of the Packaging Act.

Pursuant to section 36 of the Packaging Act, as of 1 January 2009, the packaging undertakers shall be obligated to recover the packaging material annually at least to the following extent:

  1. by way of recycling, 70 per cent of the total mass of glass waste;
  2. 70 per cent of the total mass of paper and cardboard waste, whereas, by way of recycling, 60 per cent of the total mass thereof;
  3. by way of recycling, 60 per cent of the total mass of metal waste;
  4. by way of recycling, 55 per cent of the total mass of plastic waste, whereas, by way of recycling, 45 per cent of the total mass of the plastic waste, and by way of recycling it into new plastics, 22,5 per cent of the total mass of the plastic waste;
  5. 45 per cent of the total mass of wood waste, whereas, by way of recycling, 20 per cent of the total mass thereof.

For obtaining total exemption from excise duty for other packaging, the recovery and recycling rates prescribed for the packaging material shall be calculated and met on the basis of the total mass thereof.

Upon imposing excise duty on packaging, in the first place, the actual results of recovery are taken into account. Payer of excise duty, who has failed to meet the rates of recovery, shall pay excise duty for the deficit quantity of packaging.

The Packaging Act has relieved the requirements set for the packaging undertakers, whose quantities of packaging of goods brought to the market, are small, and this principle is also provided in the Packaging Excise Duty Act.

Exemption from excise duty on packaging is applied on plastic packaging of goods brought to the Estonian market, acquired or imported from another Member State, with the mass not exceeding 25 kg in a quarter, and packaging of other material with the mass not exceeding 50 kg in a quarter.

For obtaining exemption from excise duty, the packaging recovery rates must be met within the taxable period, and in general, the taxable period is a quarter.

If the payer of excise duty has transferred its obligations to the recovery organisation established by the packaging undertakers and accredited by the Minister of the Environment, the taxable period for excise duty on packaging and calculation thereof shall be a calendar year.

Pursuant to section 111 of the Packaging Excise Duty Act, under a written agreement the payer of excise duty has an opportunity to transfer its obligations to the recovery organisation accredited by the Minister of the Environment.

On the basis of this agreement the recovery organisation shall arrange, on behalf of the payers of excise duty, the acceptance back and recovery of packaging of goods brought to the Estonian market and packaging waste, according to the recovery rates provided by law. For this purpose the payers of excise duty submit required information to the recovery organisation and this organisation shall submit, on behalf of the payer of excise duty, the information on the use of packaging to the relevant authorities.

Payer of excise duty, who has failed to transfer its obligations to the recovery organisation accredited by the Minister of the Environment, is obligated to keep quarterly records on the sale, transfer without charge, exchange and use for self-consumption of packaging of goods brought to the Estonian market, imported and acquired from another Member State, by the packaging mass and classes of packaging material. The payer of excise duty is also obligated to keep records on packaging recovery on quarterly basis.

When an obligation to pay excise duty on packaging arises, the payer of excise duty shall submit an excise duty return to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board by the fifteenth day of the month following the taxable period.
 

Rates of packaging excise duty

Taxable packagingExcise rate in euros (kg) 
1) glass0,6
2) plastic2,5
3) metal2,5
4) paper and cardboard, incl. composite cardboard1,2
5) wood1,2



Back | Up