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HMRC internal manual

Introduction to Administrative Cooperation in Excise

AC-e Introduction: What is Administrative Cooperation in Excise (AC-e)?

Excise Administrative Cooperation (AC-e), previously known as Mutual Assistance, providesa legal basis (Council Regulation (EC) No 2073/2004) and defined procedures through whichEU Member States can cooperate with each other.

AC-e is a two-way process, with Member States (MS) both generating and responding torequests for assistance from each other to:-

  • ensure compliance with excise legislation, and
  • effect a correct assessment of excise duty

To foster consistent implementation of the AC-e provisions across MS, the legislationdescribes in detail how information may be exchanged between MS, and sets the ground rulesfor compliance. Importantly, MS must respond to requests for information/cooperationwithin three calendar months of receipt, and all requests must be risk assessed prior todespatch. Exchange of information must also be through recognised gateways in MemberStates (published on CIRCA), and there is an expectation that MS will not placeunreasonable burdens on each other, taking into account the volume of requests made andthe recipients’ capacity to provide assistance.