The spirits tax is a consumption tax. The federal government is entitled to their revenue (2003: € 2.2 billion). It is collected by the Federal Customs Administration. The tax base is the Spirits Monopoly Act (BranntwMonG) of 1922 with subsequent amendments in the currently valid version.
The spirits tax covers spirits with reference to certain items in the customs tariff. In addition to taxation, the BranntwMonG also regulates the national market organization for spirits. Both areas are closely intertwined. The spirits tax is one of the consumption taxes harmonized within the EU (Transport and excise taxes).
However, uniform tax rates could not be achieved. A double taxation of spirits occurs because the spirits tax is in addition to the value added tax accrues (cascade effect).