The French Finance Ministry has confirmed that it has repealed the special tax it had imposed on high-strength beers.

The tax had met with protests from beer exporters to France, principally from Belgium, and had also been criticised by the European Union Commission.

The €2 per litre tax on beers with an alcohol content of more than 8.5% was introduced as part of the 2003 budget, ostensibly as a public health measure. But the Commission backed a complaint brought by Belgian beer exporters that the beers being taxed were predominantly imported brands and that the tax was therefore discriminatory.