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Emerging as a branch of “sin taxes”, sugar tax, implemented on sugar-sweetened beverages, has taken effect in around 50 nations so far.

  • If you are a food and beverage brand looking to understand how the sugar tax will impact your business, the table below will give you an overview of the amount of tax levied in your country and on your product category.

 There are 3 types of taxes applicable globally:

  1. Excise Tax – Tax levied on a particular product, typically at the point of manufacture or distribution. Can be either specific (based on volume or sugar content) or ad valorem (based on the percentage of product value). Tiered and sliding-scale designs apply different specific tax rates depending on volume or sugar content.

2. Import tax – Tax collected on imported products

3. VAT/GST –  A VAT is a broad-based tax assessed incrementally as a percentage of price at each stage in the production and distribution chain. Considered a consumption tax because the ultimate cost of paying the tax is borne by the consumer at the point of purchase.

 

Country/State Type of Tax Amount of Tax Products Subjected to Tax Additional Notes
Bahrain
Value-added tax
50% on soft drinks, 100% on energy drinks
Aerated flavoured soft drinks, including concentrates, powders, gels or extracts which will be made into an aerated drink
Brunei
Specific Excise ( Multitiered Volumetric)
BND 0.40 per liter (around US$0.28) on SSBs with more than 6 g per 100 ml total sugar; soy milk drinks with >7 g per 100 ml total sugar; malted or chocolate drinks with >8 g per 100 ml total sugar; coffee-based or flavored drinks with ≥6 g per 100 ml
All sugar-sweetened soft drinks, soy milk- based drinks, malted or chocolate drinks, coffee- based or flavored drinks
Exempt: Milk-based drinks and fruit juices
Chile
Ad valorem
10% on all sugary drinks with less than 6.25 g of sugar per 100 ml; 18% on all sugary drinks with >6.25 g per 100 ml of sugar
All nonalcoholic drinks with added sweeteners including energy drinks and waters
Exempt: 100% fruit juice and dairy-based beverages; Replaced previous single-tier excise tax of 13% on SSBs
Barbados
Excise
10%
Locally produced and imported sugary drinks, including carbonated soft drinks, juice drinks, sports drinks, and others
Exempt: 100% natural fruit juice, coconut water, plain milk, and evaporated milk
Belgium
Specific excise (Volumetric)
€0.068 (around US$0.07) per liter
All soft drinks, including nonalcoholic drinks and water containing added sugar or other sweeteners or flavors
Additional excise tax levied on any substance intended for the use of manufacturing soft drinks (liquid: €0.41 per liter [around US$0.45]; powder: €0.68 per kg [around US$0.70])
Bermuda
Import
75%
Waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavoring, and other nonalcoholic beverages
Exempt: Fruit and vegetable juices; Raised from a 50% ad valorem import duty implemented on October 1, 2018
Colombia
Import
19%
VAT now applied on SSBs as a multiphase tax at production, distribution, and commercialization phases of supply chain (previously only applied to production phase)
VAT now applied on SSBs as a multiphase tax at production, distribution, and commercialization phases of supply chain (previously only applied to production phase)
Cook Islands
Specific excise (Sugar content)
NZD 0.0098 (around US$0.0064) per gram of sugar
Beverages containing added sugars
Exempt: Artificially sweetened waters; Replaced previous 77% import levy on SSBs
Dominica
Specific excise (Sugar content)
10%
Soft drinks and other sweetened drinks, including energy drinks
Also applies to foods with high sugar content; Revenues from the tax to contribute to national Get Healthy campaign
Ecuador
Specific excise (Sugar content)
10% on SSBs with 25 g sugar per liter
SSBS and LCSBs
Exempt: Dairy products and their derivatives, mineral water, and juices that have 50% of natural content
Estonia
Specific excise (tiered volume-based)
€0.10 per liter on artificially sweetened drinks and products with 5–8 g sugar per 100 ml; €0.20 per liter on products with artificial sweeteners, sugar and sugar content of 5–8 g per 100 ml; €0.30 per liter on products with sugar content of >8 g per 100 ml and on products with artificial sweeteners, sugar and sugar content of >8 g per 100 ml
Nonalcoholic beverages, including carbonated and noncarbonated drinks sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners, 100% juice drinks and sweetened milk drinks
Fiji (1/2)
Specific excise for locally produced beverages; ad valorem for imported
US¢35 per liter (around US$0.17)
Locally produced sweetened beverages including carbonated and noncarbonated drinks sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners
Raised from earlier tax level of US¢10 cents per liter (around US$0.05 per liter). Tax revenue goes to a general fund.
Fiji (2/2)
10% on powders and preparations used to make beverages (other than milk-based drinks), as well as flavored and colored sugar syrups; 32% (US$2 per liter) on SSBs
Imported sweetened beverages, powders and preparations used to make beverages (other than milk-based drinks), and flavored and colored sugar syrups
Duty on SSBs raised from previous rate of 15% in 2018–2019 budget and from 10% in 2011.
Finland
Specific excise (Volumetric)
€0.11 per liter on sugar-free soft drinks and mineral waters; €0.22 per liter (US$0.25) on sugar-containing soft drinks
All nonalcoholic beverages
Producers with annual production volume <50,000 liters are exempted from the tax.
France
Specific excise (Sugar content)
Sliding scale tax starting at 1 g sugar per 100 ml and rising to €0.20 per L (US$0.23 per L) on drinks with >11 g sugar per 100 ml
Drinks with added sugar and artificial sweeteners, including sodas, fruit drinks, flavored waters, and ‘light’ drinks
Revenue used for the general budget;
French Polynesia
Specific excise for locally produced beverages; plus import tax
CFPF 40 per liter (around US$0.44) on domestically produced sweetened drinks; CFPF 60 per liter (around US$0.68) on imported sweetened drinks
All sweetened drinks
Between 2002 and 2006, tax revenue went to a preventive health fund. Since 2006, revenue has been allocated to the general budget with 80% earmarked for the Ministry of Health’s general budget.
Hungary
Sales tax
HUF 7 per liter (around US$0.024) on soft drinks; HUF 200 per liter (around US$0.70) on concentrated syrups used to sweeten drinks
Soft drinks, energy drinks, and concentrates used to sweeten drinks
Also applies to salt and caffeine content of various categories of sugar- sweetened prepackaged, ready-to-eat foods, and salty snacks
India
Increased rate of Goods and Services Tax
40% (28% GST + 12% cess - tax upon a tax)
Includes aerated waters and drinks containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavor
Applies nationally and replaces all other GST laws at the state level; Is the highest GST rate for goods in India; Applies to all goods containing added sugar or other sweetening matter or flavor.
Ireland
Specific excise (tiered volume-based)
US¢20 per liter for drinks with between ≥5 g per 100 ml and 8 g per 100 ml; US¢30 per liter for drinks with ≥8 g per 100 ml
Nonalcoholic, water- based, and fruit-based drinks with added sugar content ≥5 g per 100 ml
Exempt: Fruit juices and dairy products
Kiribati
Ad valorem
40%
Nonalcoholic beverages, including mineral and aerated waters that contain added sugar, other sweeteners, or flavorings
Exempt: Fruit and vegetable juices as well as fruit concentrates
Latvia
Specific excise (Volumetric)
€0.074 per liter (US$0.084)
Drinks with added sugar, sweetener, or other flavoring
Exempt: Fruit/vegetable juices with <10% added sugar and flavored/ functional waters without added sugars, sweeteners, or flavorings; Increased from €0.0285 per liter in 2016
Malaysia
Specific excise (tiered volume-based)
MYR 0.40 (around US$0.10) per liter on soft drinks with >5 g sugar per 100 ml, milk- based drinks with >7 g per liter, and fruit or vegetable drinks with >12 g added sugar per 100 ml
Carbonated, flavored, and other nonalcoholic drinks, including milk-based, fruit, and vegetable drinks
Exempt: Fruit and vegetables with less than 12 g sugar
Mauritius
Specific excise (Sugar content)
MUR 0.03 per gram sugar (around US$0.0008)
All SSBs, imported or locally produced, including juices, milk- based beverages, and soft drinks
Between 2013 and 2016, the tax was only applied to the sugar content of soft drinks.
Mexico
Specific excise (Volumetric)
MXN 1 per liter (around US$0.05, or 10%). 25% special tax has applied to energy drinks (concentrates, powders and syrups used to prepare energy drinks) since 1 January 2011.
All drinks with added sugar
Exempt: Milks and yoghurt drinks. Revenue is currently being allocated to the general budget. An ad valorem excise duty of 8% also applies to food with high calorie density ≥275 kcals per 100 g.
Nauru
Import tax
"30% tax on all imported products with added sugars, including SSBs,"
Imported carbonated SSBs, cordials, flavored milks, sugar-sweetened drink-mix beverages
Also applies to sugar, confectionery, and high- sugar foods
Norway
Specific excise (Volumetric)
NOK 3.34 per liter (around US$0.40) and NOK 20.32 per liter (around US$2.44)
Nonalcoholic beverages containing added sugar or sweeteners and concentrated syrups, respectively
Oman
Ad valorem
50% on all carbonated drinks except sparkling water; 100% on energy drinks
Carbonated sweetened drinks, energy drinks
Exempt: Unsweetened waters
Palau
Import tax
US$0.28175 per liter
Carbonated SSBs
Panama
7% tax on carbonated SSBs (previously 5%) and 5% on other nonalcoholic SSBs; 10% on syrups and concentrates used to produce sugary drinks (previously 6%)
Nonalcoholic beverages containing added sugar or sweeteners and concentrated syrups, respectively
Exempt: Dairy drinks, juices with >7.5 g sugar per 100 ml
Peru
Specific excise (Sugar content)
25% on beverages with ≥6 g per 100 ml
Nonalcoholic beverages, sweetened waters, and 0% alcohol beer
Previous 17% tax continues to apply to beverages with <6 g per 100 ml sugar content
Philippines
Specific excise (Volumetric)
PHP 6 per liter (around US$0.12) on drinks containing sugar and artificial sweeteners; PHP 12 per liter (around US$0.24) on drinks containing HFCS
Juices, tea, carbonated beverages, flavored water, energy and sports drinks, powdered drinks not classified as milk, juice, tea, and coffee, cereal and grain beverages
Exempt: 100% natural fruit and vegetable juices, milk products, meal replacement, and medically indicated beverages
Portugal
Specific excise (tiered volume-based)
€0.08 (around US$0.10) for drinks with 80 g per liter
Mineral, flavored, and aerated waters containing added sugar or sweeteners
Qatar
Ad valorem
50% on carbonated sweetened drinks and concentrates intended to be made into carbonated drinks; 100% on energy drinks
All imported, produced, or stockpiled aerated beverages (except unflavored aerated water) and energy drinks
Samoa
Specific excise ( Volumetric)
WST 0.4 per liter (around US$0.17)
Soft drinks, both imported and locally produced
Between 1984 and 2008, the excise tax amounted to WST 0.3 per liter (around US$0.12); in 2008, the rate increased to WST 0.4 per liter (around US$0.17).
Saudi Arabia
Value-added tax
100% on energy drinks; 50% on all SSBs
All drinks with added sugars
Previously applied only to energy drinks and carbonated soft drinks
Seychelles
Specific excise (Volumetric)
SCR 4 (US$0.29) per liter)
All imported beverages containing >5 g sugar per 100 ml, including milk-based drinks
Exempt: Fresh, locally produced fruit drinks without additives and plain milk
South Africa
Specific excise (Sugar content)
ZAR 0.021 (US$0.0015) per gram sugar over 4 g per 100 ml (effective tax rate approximately 12%)
Sugary beverages (mineral and aerated waters containing added sugar or other sweeteners or flavors and other nonalcoholic beverages) that contain >4 g per 100 ml
Exempt: Fruit and vegetable juices, dairy drinks, and drinks that contain <4 g per 100 ml sugar
Spain (Catalonia region only)
Specific excise (tiered volume-based)
€0.08 per liter for drinks with 5–8 g per 100 ml sugar, €0.12 per liter for drinks with >8 g per 100 ml. Mandatory 100% pass-through of tax to final consumer
Packaged sugary drinks: soft drinks, flavored water, chocolate drinks, sports drinks, cold tea and coffee drinks, energy drinks, fruit nectar drinks, vegetable drinks, sweetened milk, alternative milk drinks, milkshakes, and milk drinks with fruit juice
Exempt: Natural fruit juices, alcoholic beverages, sugar-free soft drinks and alternatives to milk with no added caloric sweeteners
Sri Lanka
Specific excise (Sugar content)
US¢30 per gram sugar
Carbonated soft drinks and fruit drinks
Initially implemented at US¢50 per gram sugar but was weakened to US¢30 per gram sugar (a 40% reduction) in December 2018
St. Helena
Specific excise (Volumetric)
£0.75 per liter (around US$0.95)
High-sugar carbonated drinks defined as drinks containing ≥15 g per liter sugar
Thailand (1/2)
Ad valorem and Specific excise (tiered volume-based)
"3-tiered volume- based tax on all drinks with >6 g sugar per 100 ml: 6–8 g per 100 mL - THB 0.10 per liter (around US$0.0031) 8–10 g per 100 ml - THB 0.30 per liter (around US$0.0095) 10–14 g per 100 ml - THB 0.50 per liter (around US$0.015) >14 g per 100 ml - THB 1 (around US$0.031)"
"Artificial mineral water, soda water, carbonated soft drinks without sugar or other sweeteners and without flavor, mineral water and carbonated soft drinks with added sugar or other sweeteners or flavors, and fruit and vegetable juices"
"Tax increases every two years. From 2023 onward, it will be as follows: • 6–8 g per 100 ml - THB 1 per liter (around US$0.031) • 8–10 g per 100 ml - THB 3 per liter (around US$0.095) • >10 g per 100 ml - THB 5 per liter (around US$0.15)"
Thailand (2/2)
10% on fruit and vegetable juices; 14% on artificial mineral water, soda water, carbonated soft drinks with and without sugar or other sweeteners and flavors
Artificial mineral water, soda water, carbonated soft drinks with or without sugar or other sweeteners or flavors (14%), and fruit and vegetable juices (10%)
Tonga
Specific excise - Volumetric
TOP 1 per liter (around US$0.050)
Soft drinks containing sugar or sweeteners
United Arab Emirates
Value-added tax
50% on all carbonated soft drinks, except sparkling water; 100% on energy drinks
Carbonated drinks (including concentrations, powders, gel, or extracts intended to be used in carbonated beverages), and energy drinks
The excise tax applies to the import, manufacture, stockpiling, or release of excisable goods. 50% tax to be extended on January 1, 2020, to include all ready-to-drink drinks containing sugars or added sweeteners, as well as concentrates, gels, powders, or extracts to be made into drinks, and a range of food products.
United Kingdom
Specific excise (tiered volume-based)
£0.18 per liter (US$0.25) for drinks with 5–8 g total sugar per 100 ml; £0.24 per liter (US$0.34) on drinks with >8 g total sugar per 100 ml
Any prepackaged soft drink with added sugar containing at least 5 g of total sugars per 100 ml, produced and packaged in the United Kingdom and soft drinks imported into the United Kingdom
Exempt: Milk-based drinks, milk substitute drinks, pure fruit juices or any other drinks with no added sugar, alcohol substitute drinks, and soft drinks of a specified description which are for use for medicinal or other specified purposes
United States (city of Berkeley, California)
Specific excise - Volumetric
US¢1 per ounce
Soda, energy drinks, and heavily pre-sweetened tea as well as caloric sweeteners used to produce them
Exempt: Infant formula, milk products, natural fruit and vegetable juices, meal- replacement drinks, and artificially sweetened drinks. The revenue goes into the City’s General Funds and is used for community health and nutrition programs.
United States - Navajo Nation (spans portions of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico)
Specific excise - Volumetric
2% on SSBs
SSBs
Applies to ‘minimal-to-no- nutritional value food items,’ including prepackaged and non-prepackaged snacks and soft drinks. The revenue is earmarked for projects such as farming, vegetable gardens, greenhouses, farmers’ markets, healthy convenience stores, clean water, exercise equipment, and health classes, all part of the Community Wellness Development Projects Fund.
United States - city of Albany, California
Specific excise - Volumetric
US¢1 per ounce
Includes soda, energy drinks, and heavily sweetened tea, as well as added caloric sweeteners used to produce the drinks
Exempt: Infant formula, milk products, natural fruit and vegetable juices, artificially sweetened drinks
United States - city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Specific excise - Volumetric
US¢1.5 per ounce
Any nonalcoholic beverage with caloric sugar-based sweetener or artificial sugar substitute listed as an ingredient, including soda, non-100% fruit drinks, sports drinks, flavored water, energy drinks, pre-sweetened coffee or tea, and nonalcoholic beverages intended to be mixed into an alcoholic drink; also, syrups or other concentrates used in beverages
Revenue is used to help fund community initiatives including prekindergarten schooling, community schools, parks, recreation centers, and libraries.
United States - City of Boulder, Colorado
Specific excise - Volumetric
US¢2 per ounce
Any nonalcoholic beverage which contains at least 5 g per 12 fluid ounces
Exempt: Any milk product, infant formula, alcoholic beverage, or beverage for medical use. Also, any distribution of syrups and powders sold directly to a consumer intended for personal use. The revenue will be spent on health promotion, wellness programs, and chronic disease prevention programs that improve health equity, especially for those with low income and those most affected by chronic disease linked to sugary drink consumption.
United States - city of Oakland, California
Specific excise - Volumetric
US¢1 per ounce
Defined as any beverage to which one or more caloric sweeteners have been added and that contain ≥25 kcals per 12 fluid ounces of beverage and include sodas, sports drinks, sweetened teas, and energy drinks
Exempt: Milk products, 100% fruit juice, infant or baby formula, diet drinks, or drinks taken for medical reasons. Revenue will be used for any lawful government purpose.
United States - City of Seattle, Washington
Specific excise - Volumetric
US¢1.75 per ounce of SSB + US¢1 per ounce, for manufacturers with a worldwide gross income of >US$2,000,000 but <US$5,000,000
Beverages with caloric sweeteners and the syrups and powders used to prepare them, including sodas, energy drinks, fruit drinks, sweetened teas, and ready-to-drink coffee drinks
Exempt: Drinks with <40 kcals per 12 ounce serving, beverages with milk as the principal ingredient, 100% natural fruit and vegetable juice, meal replacement beverages, infant formula, and concentrates used in combination with other ingredients to create a beverage.
United States - City of San Francisco, California
Specific excise - Volumetric
US¢1 per ounce
Applies to any SSB containing added sugar and >25 kcals per 12 ounces. The tax also applies to syrups and powders that can be made into SSBs.
Exempt: 100% fruit juice, ASBs, infant formula, and milk products are exempt from tax. Revenue goes into the City’s General Fund but is used for health and nutrition.
Vanuatu
Specific excise - Volumetric
VUV 50 (around US$0.47) per liter
Applied to carbonated beverages containing added sugar or other sweeteners including mineral waters and carbonated waters
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Government initiatives, industry and consumer response to the Sugar Tax

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Sugar reduction and how it is the only option to future proof your business against sugar tax

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