As part of the Danish government’s aim of improving the health of the Danish population, the government is planning to increase the excise duties on tobacco and unhealthy foods from January 1, 2012.
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: DK1106
Denmark Imposes Tax Increase on Unhealthy Foods
Trade Policy Monitoring
Mary Ellen Smith
As part of the Danish government’s aim of improving the health of the Danish population, the
government is planning to increase the excise duties on tobacco and unhealthy foods from January 1,
In accordance with the Danish Tax Reform 2010, the Danish government has proposed to increase the
excise duties on tobacco, chocolate and sugar products, ice-cream, soft drinks, beer and wine. There are
two duty levels on sugar, the lowest applies to products containing less than 0.5% added sugar and the
highest on products containing more than 0.5%.
While duties on tobacco and alcohol have been in place for many years in Denmark, the duties on
confectionary and soft drinks were imposed 2008-2010. In addition, a tax on saturated fat was imposed
in Denmark in October 2011. The aim with these health related taxes is to reduce health risks of
consuming unhealthy food.
The increased duties on unhealthy foods, beer and wine are proposed to be imposed on January 1, 2012.
The date for tobacco set at April 1, 2012. Please see examples of duty rates in the table below.
Product Old Duty (DKK) New Duty (DKK)
Chocolate and candy* 17.75 per kg 23.75 per kg
Ice-cream* 4.25 per liter 6.38 per liter
Soft drink* 1.08 per liter 1.58 per liter
Tobacco 1.04 per cigarette 1.16 per cigarette
Beer and wine 50.88 per liter pure alcohol 63.60 per liter pure alcohol
*Added sugar content more than 0.5%.
Source: The Danish Ministry of Taxation
1USD equals 5.5 DKK
The processors and importers pay the tax. The expected extra cost for Danish food producers and
importers is about DKK 1 billion (USD 180 million) per year, of which DKK 350 million stem from the
chocolate duty, 75 million from ice-cream, 100 million from soft drinks and 475 million from beer and
Implications on Trade
As mentioned above, these duties have been in place for some years already and will probably have
minor effects on exports of the affected products to Denmark. It is the importer who pays the duty but
the cost will indirectly be paid by the consumers. Denmark’s decision to increase these duties has no
practical implications for exporters of these products to Denmark, other than that they will need to
account for them when setting the price. The expected price increase is about 3.5% for chocolate, 5%
for beer, 9% for wine, 10% for licorice and 2% for soft drinks.