The European Commission has launched a taxation and customs website which can provide drinks companies with practical information on excise duty rates and rules in place across the European Union (EU).

It also offers relevant information on VAT and company taxation, including on the 10 countries that joined the EU in May.

Other information includes tax allowances on alcoholic drinks being transported between EU member countries, as well as rules on tax and duty free sales.

"Small- and medium-sized enterprises often suffer from a lack of relevant information, discouraging them from working or operating across borders," said new taxation Commissioner László Kovács.

See particularly relevant chapters-  http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/common/info_country/eu_10/index_en.htm, http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/common/info_country/eu_15/index_en.htm and http://europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/resources/documents/excise_duties-part_I_alcohol-en.pdf