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Pay tobacco tax

If you deal with tobacco products, you have to pay tobacco tax in certain cases.

Tobacco tax is an excise tax levied on tobacco products and tobacco equivalent products (substitute products). Goods subject to tobacco tax are, for example:

  • Cigars or cigarillos
  • Cigarettes
  • smoking tobacco (fine cut and pipe tobacco, water pipe tobacco)
  • heated tobacco
  • tobacco waste

As a rule, tobacco tax arises as soon as the above-mentioned tobacco products enter the economic cycle in the German tax territory. This is the case when

  • you have taken tobacco products from a tax warehouse without a further procedure of tax suspension.
  • you have consumed tobacco goods in the tax warehouse,
  • you have received tobacco products as a registered consignee in your business. A registered consignee is a person who has a permit to receive excisable goods in his establishment after a movement under tax suspension.
  • you manufacture tobacco products without a permit from the main customs office,
  • you supply tobacco products to persons without a permit for tax-exempt commercial use of tobacco products.
  • you hold tobacco products from the tax-free circulation of another Member State for commercial purposes, or
  • you import tobacco products from a third country or third territory.

The amount of tax is calculated according to the relevant tax rate, the quantity and the value (the retail selling price) of the tobacco goods in question.

For more information on the definition of goods subject to tobacco tax, see "Further notes".


You must pay tobacco tax if the tax has arisen and you are a tax debtor within the meaning of the law. This can be the case in various constellations, for example if

  • you are the owner of a tax warehouse from which the tobacco products were taken or consumed,
  • you are a "registered consignee" and receive tobacco products at your premises that were previously transported under tax suspension,
  • you have been involved in manufacturing without a permit
  • you have been involved in irregularities during a movement under duty suspension,
  • you are holding tobacco products for commercial purposes in Germany which originate from the tax-free circulation of another Member State, or
  • you import tobacco products from a third country or third territory.

What documents do I need?

  • As a rule, no documentation is required.