NORWAY: Duty free sales threatened by tax proposals
The Norwegian government's Committee on Tax Reform (CTR) has proposed a new tax initiative that would effectively lead to the revoking of licences that currently allow the sale of duty free alcohol at the country's airports and on passenger ferries operating in Norwegian territorial waters, Jens Stoltenberg, Norway's Prime Minister has told the national parliament.
"We are awaiting a report from the committee quite soon. This will be an important signpost for future reforms within the area of alcohol sale in Norway. The continuance of duty free sales in their present format will also be looked at," said Stoltenberg.
The CTR was to have presented its initial report on possible reforms at the end of June. This report, which is also expected to propose a 10% increase in taxes on spirits and beer products, is not now expected until September, or October.
The brewing industry has reacted critically to the CTR's proposals.
"The only beneficiary of a decision to raise taxes on alcohol will be foreign countries and especially Sweden, as a tax hike would produce a strong increase in cross border imports of alcohol. This reform may sound the death of the brewery industry in Norway," said Lars Midtgaard, CEO of Borg Breweries.
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