South Africa: National Treasury consults on sugar tax amendments

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Proposed changes to the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) were introduced in the recently announced 2017-18 Budget. The South African National Treasury has issued a list of questions and answers on the changes to the proposed tax.

The National Treasury points out that the tax is intended to have a significant impact on SSB consumption in the country. It emphasizes that “globally, these fiscal measures are increasingly recognized as effective complementary tools to help tackle the obesity epidemic at a population level.”

According to the proposal the tax on SSBs wll be implemented through the Customs and Excise Act, and will be payable on SSBs either imported into or manufactured in South Africa. The effective tax rate has been reduced and a threshold of 4g/100ml has been introduced for application of the tax. Every gram above 4g/100ml will be taxable at 2.1c/gram. This is currently the subject of a consultation that will run until March 31, 2017.

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