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Sugar levy, amendment to the provisions on the levy on foodstuffs. Commentary by Julian Pawlak, National Union of Juice Producers Association

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This is detrimental to the interests and stabilization of the entire Polish fruit and vegetable industry, in particular the juice industry – assessed Julian Pawlak, president of the National Union of Juice Producers Association, commenting on the amendment to the sugar tax regulations. In the message sent to TVN24 Biznes, it was emphasized that the request of industry organizations and fruit growers to clarify the definition of the drink in such a way as to explicitly exclude the taxation of natural sugar contained in fruit juice was not met. – Why tax a mixture of two ingredients when they are not taxable separately, as in the case of water and juice? asked Pawlak.

The sugar tax on sweetened beverages has been in force since the beginning of 2021. It rests with producers and importers. According to the Ministry of Finance, the purpose of the new regulations is to simplify the collection of the sugar levy and to introduce facilitations for entities operating in the field of beverages trading. The planned amendment maintains the current subject matter of the Public Health Act and does not provide for changes to the catalog of beverages subject to the fee.

The sugar tax entered into force in 2021 (illustration photo)Shutterstock

This is detrimental to the interests and stabilization of the entire Polish industry

In the communication from the National Union of Juice Producers (KUPS), which was sent to TVN24 Biznes, we read that the request of industry organizations and fruit growers to clarify the definition of the drink in such a way as to explicitly exclude the taxation of natural sugar contained in fruit juice, other than fruit juices, was not met one hundred percent.

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“The proposal of the coalition of fruit growers and processing organizations consisted in entering a phrase that did not raise doubts of interpretation: ‘excluding substances naturally contained in fruit or vegetable juice which is an ingredient of the drink’. The bone of contention is the interpretation of the Ministry of Health, which claims that although sugar occurs naturally in fruit juice or vegetables that are an ingredient of the drink, it is not naturally present in the drink itself, created on the basis of this juice” – reported KUPS.

Julian Pawlak, president of the National Union of Juice Producers Association, noted that “as a consequence, beverages such as water plus juice, for example 70 percent juice and 20 percent water, without added sugar or sweeteners, should be subject to the sugar levy, in the opinion of officials.”

“Why tax a mixture of two ingredients when they are not taxable individually, as in the case of water and juice?” – He asked.

The President of KUPS emphasized that “this is detrimental to the interests and stabilization of the entire Polish fruit and vegetable industry, in particular the juice industry.”

Poland is one of the largest fruit and vegetable producers in Europe

In the opinion of the KUPS Association, the sugar tax will primarily reduce the sale of raw materials from Polish fruit and vegetable suppliers.

“This is a serious problem for the entire domestic fruit market” – emphasized KUPS and reported that Poland is one of the largest producers of fruit and vegetables in Europe, right after Spain and Italy, and one of the largest in the world.

It was explained that Poland has a natural base for the production of valuable fruit and vegetable drinks, which results in a wide selection of various juices, nectars, smoothies and fruit and vegetable drinks.

“Additional fiscal burdens imposed by the Polish legislator will lead to a halt to this trend and a decrease in demand for domestic fruit and vegetables for the production of juices, nectars and drinks with juice in the country and abroad” – reads the release.

Read also: Sugar tax to be corrected. The ministry explains

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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