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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 12.07.2020, 13:11

Finnish interest groups: Immediate response needed to Estonia's lowering of excise duty

BC, Tallinn, 28.05.2019.Print version
The Finnish Grocery Trade Association and alcohol producers said that Estonia's plan to lower the excise duties on beer, cider and spirits by 25% to curb cross-border trade with Latvia requires an immediate response, informed LETA/BNS.

Kari Luoto, managing director of the Finnish Grocery Trade Association, said that otherwise, there is a risk that the share of alcohol imported from Estonia will increase and Finland will lose its tax revenue from alcohol.

Thomas Karlsson, specialist at the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, said that on the other hand, the amount of alcohol brought back from Estonia by Finns has decreased in recent years which is why, before taking concrete steps, the impact originating from the alcohol policy of Estonia should be assessed in Finland.

The Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry is also of the opinion that if Finland wants excise duty revenue to stay in Finland, the country cannot leave Estonia's relevant steps without attention.

The Estonian parliament on Tuesday took into handling a bill proposed by the parliamentary groups of the Center Party, Estonian Conservative People's Party and Isamaa seeking to lower the excise duty on beer, cider and spirits by 25% from July 1.

It appears from the accompanying notes of the bill that the purpose of lowering excise duties is to give entrepreneurs an opportunity to cut alcohol prices in order to curb cross-border trade with Latvia, which has been intensifying since 2015.

The government coalition said that lowering the price of alcohol may result in reduced alcohol sales in Latvia and increased sales in Estonia and its northern border.

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