As part of the budget agreement last Friday between the Norwegian Government and the Progress Party in Norway the duties on spirits were reduced by 10.9%.

The tax reductions on spirits will be in effect from January 1st 2003.

The parties also agreed to establish a governmental Expert Committee to study the needs for further tax reductions on alcohol. According to the agreement the Committee will present its recommendations by April next year.   

Norwegian duties on spirits were also reduced by 15% in January 2002.

Jan Ottesen, public affairs director of the Norwegian Association of Wine and Liquor Importers said: "The Norwegian duties on spirits and wine are still far higher than the rest of the Scandinavian countries. This has lead to an enormous increase in the border trade and smuggling to Norway. It is therefore important for Norway to further reduce its taxes on alcohol in the years to come."