f6 Cigarettenfabrik v. Hauptzollamt Bielefeld

f6 Cigarettenfabrik (f6) is a manufacturer of heated tobacco inserts that are used with a battery-powered device to heat tobacco for consumption.  Until December 31, 2021, these inserts were taxed like pipe tobacco in Germany.  However, beginning January 1, 2022, an additional supplementary tax was applied to heated tobacco inserts (in addition to the excise tax duty).  f6 challenged the supplementary tax’s legality because it differed from taxes for other smoking tobacco products and was inconsistent with EU Directives.  The case was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). 

The CJEU found that member states can add taxes to excise goods (which includes heated tobacco) for specific purposes.  The specific purpose, in this case, was to ensure that heated tobacco was taxed similarly to cigarettes and, therefore, deter nicotine-dependent consumers from replacing cigarettes with heated tobacco, which is also harmful to health.  As such, the CJEU found that Germany’s law applying a supplementary tax to heated tobacco inserts was compatible with EU Directives.  


f6 Cigarettenfabrik v. Hauptzollamt Bielefeld, Case C‑336/22, Court of Justice of the European Union (2024)

  • European Union
  • Mar 14, 2024
  • Court of Justice of the European Union


Plaintiff f6 Cigarettenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG

Defendant Hauptzollamt Bielefeld (Main Customs Office, Bielefeld, Germany)

Legislation Cited

Directive 2011/64/EU on the structure and rates of excise duty applied to manufactured tobacco

Directive 2008/118/EU concerning the general arrangements for excise duty

German Law on tobacco tax of 15 July 2009 as amended by the Law of 10 August 2021

Related Documents

Type of Litigation

Tobacco Control Topics

Substantive Issues

Type of Tobacco Product