The planned modernisation of the German Tobacco Tax law has now been a topic of debate for many months. On 11 June 2021, during the course of an overnight meeting, the German Bundestag passed far-reaching amendments to the Tobacco Tax Act by means of the so-called Tobacco Tax Modernisation Act. From 1 January 2022, cigarettes, water pipe tobacco and so-called heat-not-burn products will be taxed at much higher rates. As from 1 July 2022, the substances for so-called e-cigarettes will also be subject to tobacco taxation, even if they do not contain any nicotine.
In its judgment of 3 March 2021 in the case C-7/20 – VS, the European Court of Justice upheld its previous case law concerning the perspective it has adopted on import VAT in the case of infringements. From the ECJ’s perspective, and in contrast to the concept of import from a customs law perspective, the physical transfer or the place of detection of the infringement is not decisive for the importation and thus for the incurrence of import VAT. Rather, what is decisive is in which state the imported object enters the economic network.