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The possibility of the sugary drinks taxation: the Union position

Soft drinks consumption accounts for 2% of all sugar consumption in Russia, therefore it’s unjustified to talk about their adverse effects. The impact of the taxation will be insignificant and will be levelled by administrative costs, decrease in production volumes, job posts in the industry and as a result in budget revenues. Besides, there aren’t any criteria for identifying the excised beverages. The creation of such classification will require the revision of current statutory regulations, technical regulations etc.
The Union strongly opposes such regulatory initiatives. The introduction of the sugary drinks taxation (levied on the beverages with added sugar) has a big impact on forming the demand and supply of the entire product category, and also on the related sectors (sugar production, package production, wholesale and retail trade etc.), therefore there’s a need for the further discussion with the participation of expert and business communities.
There is no scientific justification of any positive socio-economical effect from introducing the sugary drinks taxation, levied on the beverages with added sugar. The industry believes, that the division of foods into "harmful" and "healthy" categories is discriminative and doesn’t fit with the system approach in terms of promoting the healthy lifestyle.
The international experience shows the low efficiency of this fiscal measure. Due to the insufficient proof of the positive effects the similar taxes have on the public health, the excise was lifted in Denmark and Norway.
At the same time, the industry is actively promoting the principles of rational nutrition and the practice of self-regulation. The leading companies signed "the Code of voluntary responsibilities" in 2019. According to the document, the companies will have decreased the amount of sugar by 10% in drinks by 2024, will reduce the format of the consumer packaging and will use additional tools for informing about the quality and properties beverages have.