Sugar Tax in Ireland – How Much Is It ?

Budget 2018 saw an announcement of  details of a new “Sugar Tax” which is due to start on 6th April 2018.
More about Budget 2018 here.

The official name for the new tax is the Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT). 

A similar tax is being implemented in the UK in April 2018 – The official name of the “sugar” tax in the UK is  the Soft Drinks Industry Levy

In Ireland ,  soft drink manufacturers will be taxed according to the volume of sugar-sweetened beverages they produce or import. Pure fruit and vegetable juices will not be taxed unless sugar is added.  Dairy products will not be taxed either nor will Soya, nut, cereal or seed based “milk substitute” drinks.
Alcoholic drinks or non-alcoholic beer and wine will not be subject to the new sugar tax either.

If a retailer has purchased taxable product from a wholesaler based outside the ROI; The responsibility rests on the retailer to submit the paperwork and pay the tax to the government.

If companies take the right steps to make their drinks healthier they will pay less tax, or even nothing at all.
It seems that almost all the major soft drinks producers have already reformulated their drinks so that they fall outside the Sugar Tax. So it looks like the tax has already started to have the desired effect. Consumers will probably not see many price increases at all from April.

Coca Cola have confirmed that they are not changing the sugar content of their “Classic” Coke – and that there will be price increases on this from April.

There is a information about the tax for for producers or retailers on the Revenue website –  here.


How Much is the Sugar Tax?

Drinks with total sugar content above 5g  and below 8g per 100ml will be taxed at 16.26c per litre. (20c inc VAT)
Drinks with more than 8g per 100 ml will be taxed at  24.39c per litre. (30c Inc VAT)

Example – a 330ml can of  Coca Cola containing more than 8g per 100ml will incur a tax of 10c.
A 2 litre bottle of Coca Cola would have a tax of  60 cent. (inc VAT)

Coca Cola are introducing smaller sizes of their higher sugar  “Classic” version  –   they will be introducing a  new 250ml slimline can  and a 375ml  bottle instead of the 500ml.
Coca-Cola Classic multipacks will be available in 4 pack, 6 pack, 10 pack and 20 pack cans.  (No longer 12 or 24)   Coca Cola have told retailers that “new recommended sale prices (RSPs) will reflect the spirit of the government’s sugar-sweetened drinks tax. However, as always, the on-shelf price of products is at the discretion of the company’s retail and wholesale partners.”

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