Revenue from alcohol taxes rose by 19% in Norway between January and August of this year, largely due to the closed border with neighbouring Sweden, new data has shown.
According to the Skatteetaten data, which was published by the P4 news portal, tobacco tax increased by as much as 34% during the period.
All told, the increased tax take amounts to around NOK 3.4 billion (€310 million), the data shows.
According to the chief executive of business representative group NHO Mat og Drikke, Petter Haas Brubakk, the data indicates the level to which border trade is an issue in the country, with shoppers traditionally crossing the border into Sweden to take advantage of cheaper alcohol and tobacco prices.
"When we can not shop on the other side of the border, we shop in Norway, and then the Norwegian tax revenues increase," he told P4. "So this really shows how much we lose every single year with normal cross-border trade."
NHO Mat og Drikke reiterated its call for Norwegian tax levels to be reduced to the same level as in Sweden, in order to protect Norwegian jobs and boost the economy.
"The situation we are in has shown that this is a bigger problem than we thought, and it is something we must do something about," said Brubakk.
According to the data, Noway earned around NOK 9.7 billion in alcohol taxes between January and August last year. This year, that total has risen to NOK 11.5 billion.
Earlier this week, NHO Mat og Drikke said that a number of beverage firms may be about to go on strike, if agreement is not reached on working hours within the sector.
The Norwegian Food and Beverage Workers Union (NNN) is in negotiations this week with the aim of alleviating strike action, with a number of major firms, including five businesses linked to Coca-Cola European Partners, planning strike action from 10 October.
© 2020 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine