Back to Prevention

Prevention: Tax and pricing

Countries that have implemented taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs)

Last updated 06-06-2019

About 40 countries have implemented taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to date. These countries are listed below, with details including the implementation date and type of tax used. More countries are adopting a tiered tax design, which applies different tax rates depending on sugar content.

Key Evidence

01

The United Kingdom’s two-tiered SSB tax based on sugar content was introduced in 2018

02

Mexico’s SSB tax based on volume was introduced in 2014

03

Many Pacific Island countries have introduced SSB taxes

The table below uses the following definitions:

  • Type of tax
    • Excise tax – a tax levied on a particular product at point of manufacture. An excise tax can be either:
      • Specific – based on quantity (e.g. volume or sugar content) OR
      • Ad valorem – calculated on a percentage of the wholesale or retail price1
    • Value-added tax – a consumption tax placed on a product whenever value is added at each stage of the supply chain, from production to point of sale.
  • Tax design
    • A specific excise tax can be calculated on either the volume of the drink (volumetric) or its sugar content.
  • Tiered
    • A tiered excise tax applies different rates depending on sugar content – for example, the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) in the United Kingdom (UK) has different rates for drinks containing more than 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres, and for drinks containing 5 to 8 grams of sugar per 100 millilitres.

See How should an Australian tax on sugar-sweetened beverages be designed for more details.

Countries When introduced Type of tax Tax design Tiered?
American Samoa 2001 Specific excise for locally produced beverages; plus import tax Volumetric (specific excise)
Bahrain 2017 Value-added tax
Barbados 2015 Ad valorem
Belgium 2016 Specific excise Volumetric
Bermuda 2018 Ad valorem
Brunei 2017 Specific excise Volumetric
Chile 2014 Ad valorem YES
Cook Islands 2014 Specific excise Sugar content
Domenica 2015 Specific excise Sugar content
Ecuador 2016 Specific excise Sugar content YES
Estonia 2018 Specific excise Sugar content YES
Federated States of Micronesia 2004 Import tax
Fiji 2016 Specific excise for locally produced beverages; ad valorem for imported Volumetric (specific excise)
Finland 2011 Specific excise Volumetric
France 2017 Specific excise Sugar content YES
French Polynesia 2002 Specific excise for locally produced beverages; plus import tax Volumetric (specific excise)
Hungary 2011 Sales tax Volumetric
India 2017 Increased rate of Goods and Services Tax
Republic of Ireland 2018 Specific excise Sugar content YES
Kiribati 2014 Ad valorem
Latvia 2004 Specific excise Volumetric
Republic of the Marshall Islands 2004 Import tax
Malaysia 2019 Specific excise Volumetric
Mauritius 2016 Specific excise Sugar content
Mexico 2014 Specific excise Volumetric
Morocco 2019 Value-added tax Volumetric YES
Nauru 2007 Import tax
Norway 2018 Specific excise Volumetric
Peru 2018 Specific excise Sugar content YES
Philippines 2018 Specific excise Volumetric YES
Portugal 2017 Specific excise Sugar content YES
Qatar 2019 Ad valorem
Samoa 1984 Specific excise Volumetric
Saudi Arabia 2017 Value-added tax
South Africa 2018 Specific excise Sugar content
Sri Lanka 2017 Specific excise Sugar content
St Helena 2014 Specific excise Volumetric
Thailand 2017 Ad valorem and specific excise Sugar content (specific excise) YES
Tonga 2013 Specific excise Volumetric
United Kingdom 2018 Specific excise Sugar content YES
United Arab Emirates 2017 Value-added tax
Vanuatu 2015 Specific excise Volumetric

Sources for table:

American Samoa, Bahrain, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Hungary, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Nauru,2 Barbados,3 Belgium, Bermuda, Brunei, Domenica, Fiji, French Polynesia, India, Republic of Ireland, Latvia, Mauritius, Morocco, Portugal, Qatar, Samoa, South Africa, St Helena, Thailand, Tonga, Vanuatu,4 Chile,5 Ecuador,6 Estonia, Saudi Arabic, United Arab Emirates,7 Kiribati,8 Malaysia,9 Mexico,10 Norway, Peru, Philippines, United Kingdom,11 Sri Lanka12

References

1. World Health Organization. Tobacco Free Initiative - Taxation. 2019. Available from: https://www.who.int/tobacco/economics/taxation/en/index1.html
2. Backholer K and Baker P. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes: the Potential for Cardiovascular Health. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 2018; 12(12):28.
3. Alvarado M, Kostova D, Suhrcke M, Hambleton I, Hassell T, et al. Trends in beverage prices following the introduction of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in Barbados. Preventive Medicine, 2017; 105:S23-S25.
4. World Cancer Research Fund International. NOURISHING database. 2019. Available from: https://www.wcrf.org/int/policy/nourishing-database
5. Caro J, Corvalán C, Reyes M, Silva A, Popkin B, et al. Chile’s 2014 sugar-sweetened beverage tax and changes in prices and purchases of sugar-sweetened beverages: An observational study in an urban environment. PLoS Med, 2018; 15(7).
6. Bergallo P, Castagnari V, Fernández A, and Mejía R. Regulatory initiatives to reduce sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in Latin America. PLoS ONE, 2018; 13(10).
7. Backholer K, Blake M, and Vandevijvere S. Sugar-sweetened beverage taxation: an update on the year that was 2017. Public Health Nutrition, 2017; 20(18):3219-3224.
8. McDonald A. Sugar-sweetened beverage tax in Pacific Island Countries and Territories: a discussion paper. Secretariat of the Pacific Community, 2015. Available from: https://www.otago.ac.nz/wellington/otago665562.pdf
9. Scully J. Malaysia to introduce tax on sugary soft drinks and juices. FoodBev Media 2018. Available from: https://www.foodbev.com/news/...
10. Colchero MA, Rivera-Dommarco J, Popkin BM, and Ng SW. In Mexico, Evidence Of Sustained Consumer Response Two Years After Implementing A Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax. Health Affairs, 2017; 36(3):564-571.
11. Backholer K, Vandevijvere S, Blake M, and Tseng M. Sugar-sweetened beverage taxes in 2018: a year of reflections and consolidation. Public Health Nutrition, 2018; 21(18):3291-3295.
12. Ives M. Quiet Casualty of Sri Lanka’s Political Crisis: A Sugar Tax. New York Times 2018. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/...