'Junk Food' Tax in Bulgaria Might Range from 3 to 78% - Health Min

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Bulgaria: 'Junk Food' Tax in Bulgaria Might Range from 3 to 78% - Health Min Health Minister Petar Moskov (R) and Sports Minister Krasen Kralev (R) say the tax could be introduced as early as next year. Photo by BGNES

Food containing high quantities of sugar, salt, caffeine or vegetable oil might be levied a tax ranging between 3 and 80 percent, Bulgaria's health and sports ministers said on Tuesday.

At a joint press conference, the two explained the move, which, if submitted as a bill to Parliament and approved, will push prices of the respective products considerably up, is expected to bring in some BGN 150 M (EUR 76.7 M) in revenues.

Of them, 20% will be spent on renovation or building of new sports facilities, another 20% will be earmarked for making school meals more healthy, and the rest will be allocated to the treatment of diseases caused by "junk foods".

The measure will enter into force as early as next year, as an incentive for the industry to consider using more healthy ingredients in products, Capital Daily quotes the two as saying.

The Health Minister had initially put forward the idea in September. Moskov had then suggested the move would stimulate the use of healthy food, discouraging children and adolescents from other products.

Taxation will vary depending on the ingredients used in the respective junk products. This will result in prices of  pastry going 44% up, while imitation dairy products will be about 78% more expensive.

"Basic" food such as bread, dairy products, meat, fruits and vegetables will not be levied.

Moskov added the tax would be paid only once by producers or importers and might be reconsidered if ingredients of the respective products are changed.

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Tags: Petar Moskov, Krasen Kralev, junk food, tax
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