French plan to raise tax on beer meets Belgian resistance
Author: Jim Deschepper / Published: 2012-11-16 14:52:18 +0100 / Last Updated: about 1 year ago
BRUSSELS - In an attempt to replenish a depleted treasury chest and allegedly help fight the economic crisis, France aims at raising the taxes on beer starting the 1st of January 2013. The French plan is to increase the duty imposed on beer by 160% while unsurprisingly, duty on wine will remain unchanged.
The new duty will depend on alcohol content but would mean that specialty beers will cost up to €2 more each than before! Belgian Brewers are outraged at the new proposal; 32% of their entire export currently goes to France and the concern is that the huge tax hike will decimate sales.
The fear in Belgium is that these drastic measures will result in a collapse of the French beer market as well as domestic job losses in the industry.
Using diplomatic efforts, the world’s number one beer nation is fighting what has been called an "unjust and protectionist change to French law". According to the Flemish liberal community senator Bart Tommelein, who also happens to be the vice-president of the Belgian Beer Club, the new law goes against the principal of European free market regulation.
In 1980 the United Kingdom tried to raise its alcohol duties on wine in order to protect their domestic beer market. The European court then decided this was contrary to a treaty which dictates that a country’s fiscal policy can’t be used to favor specific national industries.
As this is a substantiated precedent there is still hope that the French government will change their minds before it goes to the French senate to vote on 17th November. Together with some of his colleagues Mr. Tommelein is making every effort to persuade their French counterparts not to vote this disastrous new regulation.
If France does go through with the plan, the Belgian senators will support an existing proposition to introduce a new Belgian law, which will in turn heavily tax all alcoholic beverages containing high concentrations of sulfites and tannins, that means wine.
Recent Blog Posts
BASECLES - You may not have heard of this little village, halfway between Tournai and Mons. Its former quarries are now filled with water where the black marble that adorns Cologne Cathedral was once ... [ read more ]
MELLE - Alain De Laet, CEO and owner of Brouwerij Huyghe, is a firm believer in the power of the Belgian beer brand around the world. The success of the brewery speaks for itself, with Huyghe ... [ read more ]
SOIGNIES - Belgians drink their beer from the correct glass. An abbey beer tastes so much better from a traditional chalice, a pils beer from a pils glass... Only in Belgium, will you come across such ... [ read more ]
WESTMALLE - Time appears to stand still in a Trappist abbey like Westmalle. However, appearances can be deceptive - even here the latest technologies are quietly creeping in. The abbey has an up-to-da ... [ read more ]
VAL-DIEU - Those monks certainly picked some beautiful spots for their abbeys. The rumble of the busy motorway lies far behind me as I swap the flat northern Belgian landscape for the gently rolling ... [ read more ]
You must be logged in to leave a comment
BRUSSELS - Tensions are rising once again (in fact you might say they're frothing over) because of French proposals for another new tax on beer. The government is considering extending an existing 'premix' tax ... [ more ]
BRUSSELS - An American chef, a Parisian and a Chinese café owner... What could these three people possibly have in common? Well, watch the three commercials produced on behalf of the Belgian Br... [ more ]
BRUSSELS - Open Sesame. I disappear through the archway of the imposing 'Brouwershuis', one of the architectural pearls of the Grand Marché in Brussels. This prestigious location – the Brewers’ House in English - is home... [ more ]
BRUSSELS - In June, Jean-Louis Van de Pere succeeded Theo Vervloet as President of the Belgian brewers’ federation known as the Belgian Brewers. This was also shortly before http://belgium.beertourism.com/blog/s... [ more ]
The label of the Chouffe Soleil tells you straight away what this beer is about. The brewery’s gnome mascots, known from the blonde La Chouffe beers and the dark Mc Chouffe brews, ... [ more ]
Beer Tourism Newsletter Signup
Enter your name and email address on the right and click "SignUp" to join.