Tobacco products

Tobacco product means a product made entirely or partly of tobacco for the purpose of smoking, chewing, sucking or sniffing.

Tobacco products are classified as tobacco products for smoking purposes and smokeless tobacco products.

Smoking tobacco products are: cigars, cigarillos, cigarettes and smoking tobacco.

Smokeless tobacco products are: chewing tobacco and other tobacco products which by the end use do not produce smoke.

Tobacco handling means:

  1. manufacturing, processing and packaging (or production) of tobacco products;
  2. trading with tobacco products;
  3. keeping, storage or dispatch of tobacco products for commercial purposes or quantities.

Handling of a smokeless tobacco product is prohibited.

The undertaking who is engaged in the wholesale trade, import or export of the tobacco products must be entered in the Commercial Register and as a wholesale trader entered in the Register of Economic Activities. The entry in the Register of Economic Activities shall contain a notation regarding the wholesale trade of the tobacco products, and similarly, upon carrying out import or export of the tobacco products the appropriate notation is obligatory.

Excise duty shall be imposed on the tobacco products produced in Estonia, transported to Estonia from another Member State or imported for free circulation. Excise duty on the tobacco products produced in Estonia shall be paid by the excise warehousekeeper, excise duty on the tobacco products transported into Estonia from other Member States shall be usually paid by the excise warehousekeeper or registered trader, and excise duty on tobacco products imported into Estonia shall be paid by the importer.

Registered traders are required to pay excise duty by the twentieth day of the next month as of the month of the reception of the tobacco products or permit for release for consumption from the excise warehouse, and upon import excise duty on tobacco shall be paid pursuant to the customs rules.

Revenue stamp

Upon permitting a tobacco product for consumption or import, if the excise suspension arrangement or exemption from excise duty is not applied, such tobacco products must have revenue stamps affixed thereon.

Revenue stamp means a special marking which conforms to special security requirements and is attached to the tobacco products indicating the payment of excise duty.

Tobacco products shall be marked with revenue stamps in the case only, if the obligation to pay excise duty on the goods arises in Estonia, and a revenue stamp is deemed to be the object of an offence if it is affixed to a product which is not subject to revenue stamping. Thus, products bearing such revenue stamps are not allowed to export or transport to another Member State.

The revenue stamps can be ordered from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board by the importer of tobacco products, an excise warehouse keeper or a registered trader or a person who for commercial purposes delivers to Estonia the tobacco products permitted for consumption in another Member State, provided that such person meets all the following requirements:

  1. the person holds a valid excise warehouse licence or registered trader's activity licence, the importer holds a notation regarding the import of tobacco products in the Register of Economic Activities, or the person holds a notation regarding the wholesale trade in the Register of Economic Activities and a written notice is produced which indicates the intention of receiving the excise goods before dispatch of such goods from another Member State;
  2. the person has no tax arrears, including tax arrears payable in instalments;
  3. the person has compensated for the costs of printing of the revenue stamps provided by law;
  4. the person has provided security accepted by the Estonian Tax and Customs Board;
  5. the person who has notified the place where the revenue stamps shall be affixed to the excise goods.

The revenue stamping of the tobacco products is permitted to take place in the excise warehouse, customs warehouse or in the place of business of the registered trader.

When ordering revenue stamps, the person ordering the revenue stamps an importer shall notify the Estonian Tax and Customs Board of the maximum retail price of cigarettes, and in the case of tobacco products other than cigarettes, of the type of tobacco product and quantity of tobacco products in the sales packaging.

Revenue stamps are issued in Tallinn, at the address: Lõõtsa 8a.

A revenue stamp must be affixed to the tobacco product within 90 calendar days after the date of receipt thereof from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.

The recipient of the revenue stamps may extend the term for the affixing of the revenue stamps to the tobacco products on the basis of a reasoned request for more 90 days.

It is prohibited to transfer the revenue stamps which have not been affixed to the tobacco products or the packaging thereof.

The revenue stamped tobacco products may be imported and received from another Member State only by the person who has ordered the revenue stamps. The revenue stamped tobacco products where the excise duty has not been paid, are permitted to be taken by the excise warehousekeeper to another excise warehousekeeper, if the numbers of the revenue stamps affixed to such tobacco products or their sales packaging have been notified in writing to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board.

EU internal transportation of the tobacco products shall be accompanied by a delivery note set out in the EU legislation. An accompanying document shall contain sufficient characteristics of the goods and other information which makes it possible to identify the origin of the tobacco products and the person responsible for the goods. Upon import of the tobacco products the customs declaration shall substitute the accompanying document.

Tobacco products consumed on board of aircraft or ship during the intra-Community passenger transport shall be exempt from excise duty. Exemption from excise duty does not apply to the tobacco products sold to be taken away.


Hille Reinhold
Estonian Tax and Customs Board, Tax Department