TAX ALERT | Importation of lubricants, oils or industrial spirit from abroad may entail regulatory and excise tax obligations

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Which goods are subject to regulatory and excise tax obligations?

Regulatory and excise tax obligations pertain in particular to products referred to by energy law as ”liquid fuels” that fall within CN codes 2710 19 and CN 2710 12. Under the said law, the liquid fuels include not only the products which function as fuels, but also lubricants, kerosene, heat carriers, thermal oils or white and industrial spirit – commonly used in industry for purposes of machine operation or as cleaning agents and solvents.

When is an entry in the Register of Importers of the President of the Energy Regulatory Office needed?

Importation of the liquid fuels may require an entry in the Register of Importers kept by the President of the Energy Regulatory Office. Such an entry has to be obtained before commencement of importation of the products in question to Poland. Importation of those goods to Poland without having the said entry is subject to a penalty of up to PLN 2.5 million.

Each entity entered in the Register of Importers is also obliged to file monthly reports with the President of the Energy Regulatory Office on types and quantities of imported products. Failure to file the report is subject to a penalty of PLN 10 thousand.

Which excise tax obligations should be met as far as importation is concerned?

Importation of the liquid fuels may also involve obligations under excise tax regulations, in particular, an obligation:

  • to submit registration notification, including, potentially, as a consuming business entity authorized to apply the zero excise rate,
  • to submit notification re: planned intra-Community acquisition before bringing goods to Poland,
  • to submit an excise tax security,
  • to file a simplified declaration,
  • to keep record of the acquired liquid fuels (intra-Community acquisitions), and if such records are kept in paper form, they need to be sealed before the first entry is made.

Violation of the aforementioned obligations may trigger penal fiscal liability of persons who are liable for tax settlements of an entity, as well as the obligation to pay excise tax along with interest for delay.

Does the transportation of goods need to be notified to SENT?

Transportation of the liquid fuels may also be subject to notification to the SENT Register (the system for monitoring road and railway transportation of goods). As a rule, the notification obligation arises whenever the weight of shipment exceeds 500 kg/500 l. Failure to make such notification is subject to a penalty of 46% of the gross value of the transported goods, not lower than PLN 20 thousand.

What to do if the obligations are not met?

In such a case, apart from meeting the outstanding obligations in full or in part, we recommend taking measures aimed to limit or exclude criminal liability for such violation.

Taking the foregoing into account, it is advisable to verify CN codes of goods to be acquired while paying attention to any possibility of occurrence of regulatory and excise tax obligations, and to introduce corrective measures which would allow limiting criminal law risks. Additionally, it is worthwhile to consider updating the internal procedures to the effect that they would enable the identification of goods subject to special obligations, and the proper fulfilment thereof.

We will gladly assist you with the process referred to above. Please let us know if you require any further information.