Sugar tax: Ireland 2018

22 February, 2018

Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT)

Following Budget ‘18, the Sugar-Sweetened Drinks Tax (SSDT) will come into effect in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) from 1 May 2018. The tax will apply on the first supply of relevant beverages within the State where the sugar content of the beverage product is in excess of 5 grams per 100ml. The legislation determines who is regarded as being a supplier and what is regarded as being a supply.

This excise tax is very technical with many complex references to other related Irish and EU legislation and the application of customs legislation.

Will you be affected by the sugar tax?

Companies who are making supplies of sugar sweetened drinks and who may be affected by the sugar tax include:

  • Wholesalers;
  • Distributors;
  • Retailers;
  • Producers;
  • Importers; and
  • Companies making self-supplies for example to employees.

Sales to related entities are not subject to SSDT but tax may apply later in the supply chain when the related entity sells to an unrelated party.

Which products fall within the scope of this tax

Figuring out if a product is subject to sugar tax requires an in-depth knowledge of EU customs tariff classification codes. Analysis will need to be done to see which of your products are included or excluded.

Products are divided into three categories:

  • Beverages containing added sugar which are prepacked and ready to consume;
  • Prepacked concentrated substances in liquid or solid form which require preparation before consumption by the final customer;
  • Beverages prepared from concentrated substances and which are ready to consume.

It is the characteristics of the product in the ready to consume form which are assessed. Such beverages include:

  • Fruit and vegetable juices containing added sugar;
  • Waters, including mineral waters and aerated waters, that contain added sugar and other non-alcoholic beverages. Non-alcoholic beer, alcohol free wine, soya based beverages, beverages based on nuts, cereals or seeds, milk based products and food supplements are excluded.

Certain reliefs and exemptions are available including an exemption for small producers and relief for beverages exported from ROI.

Sugar tax rates

Rates Sugar content*
€0.2439 per litre Drinks with a sugar content of 8g or more per 100ml
€0.1626 per litre Drinks with a sugar content of 5g or more but less than 8g per 100ml

*Sugar in this context includes all monosaccharides and disaccharides but excludes polyols (alcohols containing more than two hydroxyl groups).

How can you ensure compliance with this new tax and minimise unnecessary costs for your business?

  1. Figure out if you are making a taxable supply
  2. Check which of your products are within the scope of the sugar tax
  3. Explore what exemptions or reliefs might be available to you
  4. See if you can avail of an export refund
  5. Prepare your business to comply with the administrative requirements of the sugar tax (e.g. relevant registrations, tax payments and preparation and lodging of returns)

How can we help?

Click on our sugar tax evaluator below to help you determine whether your business may be subject to the sugar tax or get in touch with one of our team who can talk you through what you need to do.

View the fully interactive desktop version below, or if you are on mobile use the static mobile friendly option.

Contact us

John O'Loughlin

Partner, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 6093

Jennifer Hawkins

Senior Manager, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Tel: +353 1 792 8116

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