Romania is drafting proposed regulations that would introduce special taxation on foods and beverages with high sugar content, with the goal of improving health.

Targeted products could include chocolate, confectionery, ice cream, as well as soft drinks, sports and energy drinks, but so far, no detailed list has been published.

Commenting to the Bucharest parliamentary press corps, Romania’s Finance Minister Ionu? Mi?a said his government was still discussing an appropriate level of taxation but that it could potentially exceed 10% pro-rata.

Mi?a said the ministry was “considering various taxation scenarios”, assessing fiscal models used by other states levying sugar-laden food products.

The sugar-tax revenue could be hypothecated and cover healthcare costs and education programmes, according to MP Costel Lupa?cu, a member of the ruling Partidul Social Democrat (PSD), who has discussed the potential bill with Romania’s Patients College Association (Asocia?ia Colegiul Pacien?ilor din România), a non-governmental organisation focused on public health policy.

It remains unclear, as yet, if the tax would be differentiated VAT, a flat rate fee for manufacturers or a special consumption tax for consumers, levied from retailers. The proposal has yet to be submitted to the Romanian parliament’s chamber of deputies lower house. Officials say, if approved, the tax could start being imposed during 2018.

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