The tax on energy drinks has been deemed discriminatory

The tax on energy drinks has been deemed discriminatory

A tax on energy drinks in France has fallen foul of the country's Constitutional Council for a second time, but could be introduced in another form. 

In a ruling published late last week, the council said the EUR1 (US$1.29) per litre tax discriminates against so-called energy drinks as it does not apply to other beverages with the same caffeine content. The levy, which was introduced in January this year, contravenes the principal of tax equality and is unconstitutional, the council said. 

However, the body's judgement will only take effect from 1 January 2015. This will allow the legislator "to draw the necessary conclusions from the declaration of unconstitutionality", the council said.

The ruling follows a complaint from Red Bull, leading the law to be dubbed the "Red Bull tax". 

Gérard Bapt, the member of parliament behind the tax, has indicated that a re-worked version of the law would be included in a future bill to finance France's social security system.

The Constitutional Council has previously intervened on France's bid to tax energy drinks. In late 2012, the body rejected a proposed tax of EUR50 per hectolitre by the French Parliament.