15 million+ liters of tax-free pálinka distilled in 2013


For those wondering what possible impact beyond the cultural that a European Commission ruling on the tax-free status of private pálinka distillation might make in Hungary, local business daily Napi Gazdaság provides some numbers: Over 15 million excise tax-free liters of the nation’s favored tipple were produced in 2013…

In 2013, contract distillers produced more than 15 million liters of pálinka, the national eau de vie, business daily Napi Gazdaság reported today, citing data from the tax office. Nearly the entire amount was tax exempt. 

The figure represented a 1 million increase in production from the previous year.
Legislation in force since the autumn of 2010 allows Hungarian households to distill for personal consumption the equivalent of 50 liters of 172-proof pálinka excise tax-free per year.

The law is currently being contested at the European Court of Justice; on Friday, local daily Magyar Nemzet cited anonymous European Union sources as confirming that Hungary’s extant national law would be overturned.


Shortly after Magyar Nemzet broke the story, National Economy Minister Mihály Varga pledged in a press conference that he and his government would “defend the excise tax exemption for pálinka.”


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