Back to Prevention

Prevention: Tax and pricing

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

Last updated 17-08-2021

About 50 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. Some countries have adopted a tiered tax design, which applies different tax rates depending on sugar content.

Key Evidence

01

The United Kingdom’s two-tiered SSB tax, with tiers 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.
  • Tiers
    • A tiered excise tax applies different rates depending on sugar content – for example, the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) in the United Kingdom has different rates for drinks containing more than 8g of sugar per 100mL, and for drinks containing 5 to 8g of sugar per 100mL.

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 Ad valorem
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
Dominica 2015 Ad valorem
Ecuador 2016 Specific excise and Ad valorem Sugar content (specific excise) YES
Estonia 2018 Specific excise Sugar content YES
Fiji 2016 Specific excise for locally produced beverages; ad valorem for imported Volumetric (specific excise)
Finland 2011 Specific excise Volumetric
France 2017 Specific excise Volumetric YES
French Polynesia 2002 Specific excise for locally produced beverages; plus import tax Sugar content (specific excise) YES
Guam Unknown Specific excise Volumetric
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
Malaysia 2019 Specific excise Volumetric
Maldives 2017 Import tariff Volumetric
Republic of the Marshall Islands 2004 Import tax
Mauritius 2016 Specific excise Sugar content
Mexico 2014 Specific excise Volumetric
Morocco 2019 Value-added tax Sugar content YES
Nauru 2007 Import tax Ad valorem
New Caledonia 2017 Excise and import tariff
Niue Unknown Import tariff
Northern Mariana Islands 1995 Specific excise Volumetric
Norway 1981 (modified yearly) Specific excise Volumetric
Oman 2019 Ad valorem
Panama 2019 Ad valorem
Peru 2018 Ad valorem YES
Philippines 2018 Specific excise Volumetric
Poland 2021 Specific excise Volumetric and sugar content YES
Portugal 2017 Specific excise Volumetric and sugar content YES
Qatar 2019 Ad valorem
Samoa 1984 Specific excise Volumetric
Saudi Arabia 2017 Ad valorem
Seychelles 2019 Specific excise Volumetric
South Africa 2018 Specific excise Sugar content
Spain 2021 Value-added tax
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 Sugar content YES
Tuvala 2009 Ad valorem excise and import tariff
United Arab Emirates 2017 Ad valorem
United Kingdom 2018 Specific excise Volumetric YES
Vanuatu 2015 Specific excise and import tariff Volumetric
Wallis and Futuna 2016 Import tariff Ad valorem

Sources for table:
American Samoa 23 Bahrain 245 Barbados 467 Belgium 5 Bermuda 5 Brunei 5 Chile 57 8 Cook Islands 23 Dominica 457 Ecuador 7 Estonia 29 Fiji 35 Finland 2 4 France 2410 French Polynesia 345 Guam 3 Hungary 245 India 245 Republic of Ireland 245 Kiribati 34511 Latvia 45 Malaysia 4512 Maldives 413 Republic of the Marshall Islands 23 Mauritius 514 Mexico 24715 Morocco 45 Nauru 2310 New Caledonia 3 Niue 3 Northern Mariana Islands 311 Norway 4516 Oman 417 Panama 418 Peru 4516 Philippines 4516 Poland 45 Portugal 45 Qatar 4 Samoa 345 Saudi Arabia 349 Seychelles 45 South Africa 45 Spain 45 Sri Lanka 219 St Helena 45 Thailand 45 Tonga 345 Tuvalu 3 United Arab Emirates 459 United Kingdom 4516 Vanuatu 345 Wallis and Futuna 3

In addition to the countries in the table, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have import tariffs for SSB. However, these tariffs are the same rate as for water, so were not included in the table.3

In the USA, regions and cities have implemented taxes on SSBs.45 In California, these are San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland and Albany (all at 1 cent per ounce). Cook County, IL, has a 1 cent per ounce tax. Philadelphia, PA, has a 1.5 cents per ounce excise. Seattle, WA, has a 1.75 cents per ounce distribution tax. Boulder, CO, has 2 cents per ounce excise. The Navajo Nation has a 2% junk food tax that includes SSBs.

References

1. World Health Organization. Tobacco taxation, WHO, Editor 2014. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/.
2. Backholer K and Baker P. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes: the Potential for Cardiovascular Health. Current Cardiovascular Risk Reports, 2018; 12(12):28. Available from: https://link.springer.com/arti...
3. Teng A, Snowdon W, Win Tin ST, Genç M, Na'ati E, et al. Progress in the Pacific on sugar-sweetened beverage taxes: a systematic review of policy changes from 2000 to 2019. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2021. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34097355/
4. Global Food Research Program. Sugary drink taxes around the world. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2020. Available from: https://globalfoodresearchprogram.web.unc.edu/
5. World Cancer Research Fund International. NOURISHING database. 2019. Available from: https://policydatabase.wcrf.or...
6. 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. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28716655/
7. 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). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30339667
8. 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). Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29969444
9. 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):3219-24. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29160766
10. Capacci S, Allais O, Bonnet C, and Mazzocchi M. The impact of the French soda tax on prices and purchases. An ex post evaluation. PLoS One, 2019; 14(10):e0223196. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31603901/
11. 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
12. Scully J. Malaysia to introduce tax on sugary soft drinks and juices. FoodBev Media 2018. Available from: https://www.foodbev.com/news/...
13. World Health Organization COfM. Report on fiscal policies to reduce consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and other regulatory measures to promote healthy diets in the republic of Maldives., Regional Office for South-East Asia, Headquarters, Geneva 2017. Available from: http://saruna.mnu.edu.mv/jspui/bitstream/.
14. Cawley J, Daly MR, and Thornton R. The effects of beverage taxes on youth consumption and BMI: evidence from Mauritius, in NBER Working Paper Series 2021, National Bureau of Economic Research: Cambridge, MA, USA. Available from: https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w28960/w28960.pdf.
15. 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):564-71. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28228484/
16. 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):3291-5. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30449291
17. Oman to impose new excise tax this month to boost revenues. (2019). Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/oman-economy-tax/
18. World Bank Group. Sugar-sweetened beverages and prepackaged foods: the impact of taxation on price, consumption, and revenues and its contribution to achieving the sustainable development goals in Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic. World Bank Group, 2020. Available from: https://thedocs.worldbank.org/.
19. Ives M. Quiet Casualty of Sri Lanka’s Political Crisis: A Sugar Tax. New York Times 2018. Available from: https://www.nytimes.com/...