We use cookies to personalise the website and offer you the greatest added value. They are, among other purposes, used to analyse visitor usage in order to improve the website for you. By using this website, you agree to their use. Further information can be found in our data privacy statement.

Customs and excise duties


What is excise duty?

Excise duty is an indirect tax (i.e. one that is not levied directly on citizens but indirectly when goods are purchased) on certain consumer goods. This is a special kind of tax as it is governed by both Polish and EU laws (as part of so-called harmonised goods). Regulations on harmonised goods mean that a less complicated system of trading in excise goods may operate safely across the European Union.


Excise duty in Poland and abroad


Not all EU member states have the same products liable to the same excise duty and not all countries have the same regulations in this respect. Poland, for example, imposes excise duty on, among other things, passenger cars and lubricating oils, which is problematic when these goods are purchased from other EU countries. Regulations designed to prevent abuse among payers of this duty are complicated, which creates additional difficulties. Both Polish and foreign entities which operate in Poland are often unaware of their obligations related to trading in excise goods.

What is customs duty?


Customs duty is nothing more than a charge for moving goods across customs borders.


Customs duty may be collected in order to:

  • increase state budget revenue
  • protect internal market and domestic manufacturers against goods manufactured abroad,
  • exert pressure on a trading partner to change (or not to change) the terms of trade (retaliatory duties).


In the context of protecting domestic industry, customs duty is the basic tool of economic protectionism. However, in the era of globalisation and free international trade  the tools for protecting internal market lose importance. Countries form customs unions, thus abolishing customs duties in trade between them and at the same time harmonising their customs policy towards third countries.


Unlike excise duty, customs duties are the same throughout the European Union and goods can be cleared in any EU country. Customs duties on individual goods are listed in the EU customs tariff, however, they are sometimes agreed in international agreements concluded between the EU and third countries, in which the EU lowers customs duties on goods coming from countries with which it has concluded an agreement. In order to benefit from preferential duty rates, the origin of goods must be properly documented (certificates and authorisations for both the products themselves and the transporting entities).


We would be glad to support you in solving your specific case and to offer you comprehensive tax and customs advice. 


Our services also include employee training on customs and excise duties both at your premises and at our offices.


New obligations to fill out SENT notifications of transport of, among others, paints, varnishes, solvents and glues, came into force on 12 January 2024.


INTRASTAT thresholds in 2024 »

The President of the Central Statistical Office has approved the statistical thresholds in the INTRASTAT system for 2024.

CBAM – Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism »

The transition period of application of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) will start on 1 October 2023 and last until 31 December 2025.


New categories of goods covered by SENT »

A regulation amending the list of agricultural products whose transport is monitored by the SENT system became law on 12 August 2023.


SENT – further changes »

The Ministry of Finance has recently published another draft regulation amending the SENT, which is the System for Electronic Supervision of Transport of sensitive goods.


Changes in trade in liquid fuels »

The Council of Ministers has adopted a Bill amending Certain Acts to Reduce Irregularities in Trade in Certain Goods and to Streamline the Work of the National Revenue Administration (NRA). 


SENT – key information for carriers and recipients »

From 21 April 2023, SENT notifications are also required for the transport of cereals, eggs, poultry meat and apiculture products.


Mandatory Fuel Platform to arrive soon »

The Fuel Platform is a new ICT system to handle the reporting on liquid fuels. It is run by the Governmental Strategic Reserves Agency and will become mandatory on 1 July 2023.


SENT – New categories of goods covered by the system »

A regulation was published in the Journal of Laws on 20 April 2023, based on which new categories of goods will be covered by the SENT system.


Excise duty – changes in 2023 »

Amended Excise Duty Act came into force on 1 January 2023. It provides solutions favourable to taxpayers. 


Thresholds applicable to INTRASTAT declarations in 2023 »

The President of the Central Statistical Office approved on 7 December 2022 the statistical thresholds in the INTRASTAT system for 2023.


Customs and excise duties in the context of Brexit »

The United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union on 1 February 2020 and officially become a third country. 


Customs and excise duties in the context of coronavirus »

The outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic forced the rapid introduction of numerous legislative changes aimed at both counteracting the development of the epidemic and the deteriorating economic situation. 


Monitoring of transport of sensitive goods – new laws »

New rules for the monitoring of transport of the so-called sensitive goods, such as engine fuels, biodiesel, lubricating oils, solvents, diluents (thinners), dried tobacco, entered into force on 14 June 2018. 


Amended Excise Duty Act »

The President signed into law on 29 July 2019 the amended Excise Duty Act to overhaul the rules applicable to, among other things, excise duty on lubricants and oils.


Changes to the Excise Duty Act »

By amending Article 16 of the act of 20 July 2018 amending the Excise Duty Act and the Customs Act, the lawmakers have expanded the group of entities obliged to register for excise duty purposes. 


Contact Person Picture

Adrian Maczura

Tax adviser (Poland)

Associate Partner

+48 606 640 095

Send inquiry


Contact Person Picture

Tadeusz Piekłowski

Customs agent (Poland)

Senior Associate

+48 606 636 022

Send inquiry


Deutschland Weltweit Search Menu