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European Fruit Magazine

26.1 cent sugar tax on fruit juice

As off 1 January 2024, the Dutch government has raised the consumer tax on, among other things, pure fruit juices to 26.1 cents per litre. This is a three-fold increase compared with the old tariff of 8.8 cents per litre. Because on the product price including consumer tax, 9% VAT must be paid, the product price of one litre of fruit juice rises by even 18.9 cents.
The measure arises from the wish to more heavily tax sugar-containing drinks, such as soft drinks and to stimulate consumers to drink healthier beverages. Therefore, the measure is referred to as the sugar tax in popular speech. For instance, dairy products, mineral water and alcohol-free beer are exempt from the measure. However, the authorities have not taken into account, that there is a difference between natural sugars, as found in fruit juices and added sugars, as found in soft drinks.
Various political parties want to differentiate the consumer tax, or distinguish between drinks with added and those with natural sugars and make the consumer tax dependent on the amount of added sugars. A great majority of the Second Chamber (the Dutch house of representatives) supports these adaptations. However, before this will have been accomplished, several months, if not years, will have passed.
This measure especially affects sales points of artisanal products, such as farm shops, because they especially sell pure fruit juices. They are compelled to pass on the rise in tax into their production prices.

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