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As Finns resume international travel post-pandemic, alcohol imports have surged, prompting concerns from various sectors about significant revenue losses due to the country's high alcohol tax rates. The Finnish Hospitality Association (MaRa), Service Union United (PAM), the Federation of the Brewing and Soft Drinks Industry, the Finnish Grocery Trade Association (PTY), and the Finnish Alcohol Retail Association are urging the government to exercise restraint in making decisions on alcohol tax policies.

Finland, known for having the highest alcohol tax rates in the European Union, faces notable discrepancies in tax levels compared to neighboring countries, leading to increased alcohol imports and consequent tax revenue losses for the state.

According to calculations performed by Visitory Oy, based on the volume of alcohol brought into Finland, tax revenue losses last year amounted to €300.5 million, assuming the alcohol would have been purchased domestically. Furthermore, sales income losses reached €475.5 million.

These figures are derived from Visitory Oy's analysis, taking into account the amount of imported alcohol based on a report by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare on alcohol imports and online purchases in 2023 (Statistical Report 10/2024). Alcohol prices were estimated using panel data from Visitory Oy, which surveys 1,000 respondents monthly (12,000 responses annually) regarding their alcohol purchases abroad and the prices paid.

The collective appeal from these organizations highlights the potential economic impact of current alcohol tax policies and the need for a strategic approach to minimize revenue losses while considering public health and the domestic alcohol market.

HT

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