SOFIA – Chips, biscuits, coffee, and other allegedly unhealthy foods will soon face a tax hike of as much as 78 percent, as the government eyes a “junk food tax”. On October 20th the Health Care Minister of Bulgaria resented a proposal
for a new “junk food tax” aimed at improving health and lifestyles in the country while at the same time raising extra tax revenues.
The newly proposed tax will be levied on the sale of foods which are rich in added salt, sugar, caffeine, or hydrogenated fats. The tax will be levied on foods fitting into any of the four categories, at a rate of 3 percent to 78 percent based on the category, with the highest rate being levied on foods which are rich in hydrogenated fats.
It was noted that the tax may see overlaps if a particular food item falls under several categories, such chips or biscuits, which may simultaneously be high in fat, sugar and salt.
It was specifically noted that staple food items such as fruits vegetables, dairy and bread would not be effected by the tax, and the legislation is actually aimed at increasing the consumption of such goods.
The tax is planned to be launched in 2016, but manufacturers and retailers will be granted a grace period in which to adjust their labelling and products.
The Minister estimated that the tax could bring in as much as BGN 150 million in extra tax revenues per year.