Customs and Excise Agency

Role

Under the authority of the Ministry of Finance, the Customs and Excise Agency (Administration des douanes et accises) has a combined fiscal, policing, economic and health-related role:

  • policing role: fight against substance abuse and drugs, environmental protection, vehicle oversight;
  • economic and health-related role: monitoring of animal feed, plant products, products subject to agricultural levies, watchdog role on offences under the legislation on dangerous or unsanitary premises;
  • fiscal role: customs duty (tax charged on imported goods coming through borders), excise duty (a specific tax on the consumption or use of certain products, such as tobacco, alcohol or oil-based products), VAT auditing in businesses, tax on licensed premises (taxes de cabaretage), tax regime for automotive vehicles ('tax stamp'), tax regime for beers and alcohol produced in the country.

This is an indirect tax, as the tax applies to the movement of goods and not to the income of the taxpayer.

Organisation

In addition to management, this administration includes the revenue and audit department, the inspections department and a number of others:

  • the revenue and audit department includes, in addition to the Central Customs and Excise Office (Caisse centrale des douanes et accises), several customs offices. These offices are, in particular, responsible for collecting customs duties (duties and taxes charged upon entry of certain products or objects, i.e. imported goods, into Luxembourg). Ordinary citizens are usually only affected by this duty when buying a vehicle abroad. In this case, buyers must visit the Customs centre in Gasperich, or one of the customs offices, bringing the vehicle, the administrative documentation and the invoice. In addition to customs and excise duty, the tax collected includes:
    • the tax on automotive vehicles (tax stamp with taxation based on carbon dioxide emissions);
    • the levying of charges for certain roads for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).
Similarly to the payment of customs duties, for example, when a vehicle is imported, road tax can be paid at various revenue offices nationwide, one of which being the Road Tax Revenue Department.
  • the supervision department, which mainly includes divisional inspectorates and monitoring sections, lieutenancies and squads. This department carries out checks on persons at border crossings and has the same powers as ordinary police officers.
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