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Norway gives tax relief to artificially-sweetened soft drinks

Oct 14, 2020 (MarketLine via COMTEX) --

<p>Norway is to row back on the tax levels on&nbsp;artificially-sweetened soft drinks at the same time as increasing the duty on full-sugar&nbsp;drinks.</p>

The Scandinavian country, which has some of the highest soft drinks levies in Europe and penalises low- and no-sugar and high-sugar drinks equally, said last week that a new tax structure will come into force in July next year. Packaged non-alcoholic drinks with artificial sweeteners will see their duty reduced by 27% to NOK2.54 (US$0.28) per litre. Concentrates with artificial sweeteners will have their tax reduced by the same amount.

Meanwhile, both packaged soft drinks and concentrates with a sugar content under 5g per 10cl will get a 17% tax cut.

In contrast, taxes on packaged drinks and concentrate with a sugar content higher than 8g per 10cl will increase by 3.5%. Drinks with a sugar level of 5g-8g will get a slight duty reduction of 6.8%.

Drinks that contain only natural sugar will still be exempt from taxes.

Norway's finance minister Jan Tore Sanner said the differentiated tax will encourage the soft drinks industry to reduce the sugar content of its&nbsp;products.&nbsp;"This can contribute to reduced sugar intake, especially among children and young people who currently have a higher intake of sugar than what is recommended," Sanner said.

After the changes are implemented, high-sugar soft drinks in Norway will be taxed at a rate of NOK3.63 per litre (GBP0.30). In the UK, the highest rate of soft drinks tax is GBP0.24 per litre. In France, the rate is EUR0.0716 per litre, equivalent to GBP0.06.

Norway has a sugar tax on all products. According to a media report last year, some Norwegian consumers cross the border to Sweden to buy confectionery and soft drinks, where prices can be half that in Norway.

How COVID has accelerated the trend towards sobriety - consumer trends

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