Alcohol from another EU country
Importation of alcohol for personal use when travelling
You may bring alcohol into Sweden tax-free when travelling from another EU country (Regulations for non-EU countries apply to certain regions outside the fiscal territory of the EU, such as the Åland Islands and the Canary Islands) under the following circumstances:
- the alcohol is intended for personal use (i.e. for yourself or for your family¹)
- you are personally transporting the goods into Sweden
- and you are at least 20 years of age
There is no restriction to the amount of alcohol you may bring in, but it must be for your personal use or for your family´s use. You may also bring in alcohol for a celebration (e.g. a wedding or birthday celebration) where you will be serving alcohol.
However, you may not receive payment for the alcohol, even if the payment only covers your cost for purchase.
Levels to help determine whether the importation is for personal or commercial use
Lag (1994:1564) om alkoholskatt (the Swedish Act on Excise Duty on Alcohol) lays down levels that can be used to determine whether the importation is for personal or commercial use. These levels are 10 litres of liquor, 20 litres of fortified wine, 90 litres of wine and 110 litres of beer. The levels may only be used as one of several factors that must be taken into account when making an overall judgement.
- Liquor - beverages with an alcohol content over 22 per cent by volume
- Fortified wine - beverages with an alcohol content over 15, but not over 22 per cent by volume
- Wine - non-fortified wine and other alcoholic beverages other than beer, with an alcohol content between 3.5 and 15 per cent by volume
- Beer - beverages with an alcohol content over 3.5 per cent by volume.
It is up to the discretion of the individual customs officer as to whether the alcohol is likely to be for personal use, or if it considered commercial importation.
Therefore, Swedish Customs does not issue advance notification as to whether an importation of alcohol is to be considered personal or commercial use.
Ordering alcohol for personal use
As of July 1 2008 it is permitted to bring in alcohol via a commercial carrier such as a transportation company or other independent intermediary, such as a friend or neighbour. The buyer must notify the Swedish Tax Agency prior to the transport and lodge a security. If you are ordering alcohol via another party, you must pay Swedish alcohol tax.
The person transporting the goods must also bring a simplified accompanying document containing information on the supplier, recipient, transporter, and a description of the goods.
Swedish alcohol tax must be paid or the alcohol will be seized by Swedish Customs.
Who is responsible for paying alcohol tax?
- Swedish alcohol tax is paid by the seller if the alcohol is transported by the seller or by an agent employed by the seller. This is called distance selling and is common practice when the transport is included in the price of the goods.
- Swedish alcohol tax is paid by the buyer if the buyer personally arranges the transport of alcohol into Sweden (regardless of whether it is being transported commercially or by a friend or neighbour) The buyer is to notify the Swedish Tax Agency prior to the transport and lodge a security.
More information about registration, securities and simplified accompanying documents can be found at the Swedish Tax Agency´s website.
Alcohol as a gift
As a private individual, you may receive as a gift single consignments containing alcohol from a country within the EU without being charged. However, this only applies if the gift comes from another private individual and is for your personal use.
Alcohol for commercial use
If you are bringing alcohol into Sweden for commercial use, you must have an authorisation from the Swedish Tax Agency and you must pay Swedish alcohol tax.
¹ Family refers to close relatives with whom you share a household (for example your husband or wife).