Excise duties on certain products containing CBD and THC

Certain products containing cannabidiol
Certain products containing canabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are now regulated and taxed as "other types of tobacco"

The Belgian Federal Public Service Finance (Customs & Excise) has recently decided to tax "herbal products intended for smoking" that contain CBD and less than 0.2% THC as "other types of tobacco". It mainly aims at the products that are sold in the so-called cannabis shops. These cannabis shops are popping up throughout the country.

This new regulation concerns products on the basis of plants, herbs or fruit (in this case dried hemp flowers) that contain CBD and a certain amounts of THC but no tobacco, and which can be consumed through incineration. For example, dried hemp flowers that are nowadays often sold as potpourri will be taxed.

Cannabis-based products that are not intended for smoking (for example, oils, food supplements, foodstuffs, cosmetic products) are not considered "other types of tobacco". Nevertheless, a derogation is always required for such products.

Not only are these products that are now being considered as "other types of tobacco" being taxed; the packaging for these products must also comply with the rest of tobacco product legislation. This implies, among other things, that these packages must contain a tax reference.

Furthermore, this also means, among other things, that the packaging of these products must contain a health warning. In addition, the manufacturers and importers of these products must provide a list of all ingredients, with their quantities, that are used for the production of these products, to the relevant authorities. They must also inform the authorities of any change of the product that has an impact on the information provided.

Note that products with a THC content equal to or higher than 0.2% are always prohibited.

On March 28, 2019, Parliament approved a bill concerning the establishment of a cannabis agency. The establishment of this cannabis agency makes it possible to organize the cultivation of cannabis in Belgium for the use of cannabis as a medicine or for medicinal purposes.

The actual establishment of this agency will still take a while. Many things will have to be further developed by the legislative bodies. 

However, as shown above, the tax authorities did not wait and are already benefiting from this growing market.


CORBUS ADVOCATEN specializes in all aspects of the ever-growing market for cultivation and distribution of cannabis intended for medicinal and scientific purposes.

For more information on this topic, please contact Anton Buntinx: (anton.buntinx@corbus.be).




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