I am advised by the Revenue Commissioners, who have responsibility for the collection of tobacco products tax, that, in accordance with section 104(2) of the Finance Act 2001, tobacco products tax is not chargeable on cigarettes that are bought tax-paid by a private individual in another member state of the European Union, provided that the cigarettes are for the individual’s own personal use and not for commercial purposes. The cigarettes must be personally transported and accompanied into the State by that individual. This provision is in accordance with article 32 of Council Directive 2008/118/EC of 16 December 2008 concerning the general arrangements for excise duty and repealing Directive 92/12/EEC. Applying a limit to the amount of cigarettes that can be brought in from another member state depends on whether the cigarettes are for an individual’s own private use or for commercial purposes and this falls to be determined in accordance with criteria set out in Part 4 of the Control of Excisable Products Regulations 2010. These include the reasons given by the person for having control or possession of the cigarettes and the quantity involved. In accordance with EU law, the indicative guide level as to what constitutes a quantity consistent with personal use is set at 800 cigarettes.
A maximum of 200 cigarettes may be brought into the State from outside the EU or from territories where EU rules on VAT and excise duties do not apply, such as the Canary Islands.