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Friday 28.02.2020 | Name days: Skaidrīte, Justs, Skaidra
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Excise tax reduction on strong alcoholic drinks causes 20% surge of sales in Estonia

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Two weeks after the reduction of excise tax on strong alcoholic drinks in Estonia sales in the country’s largest trade networks has surged 20%.

Sales of strong alcoholic drinks in Coop network of stores have increased 20%. Sales have increased by a quarter in Rimi network, 10-15% in Prisma network of stores. Maxima has yet to compile data on sales changes, as reported by Estonian newspaper Eesti Päevaleht.

Sales of light alcoholic drinks in Estonia have remained unchanged when compared to 2018. Coop and Rimi explain the surge with the hot summer of 2018, when people bought more beer, cider and other light alcoholic drinks.

As previously reported, from 1 July onward the excise tax on alcoholic drinks in Estonia is reduced by 25%. This was done to reduce the difference between Estonia and Latvia and thereby limit cross-border trade.

Following excise tax reduction, prices have dropped for more than 300 strong and light alcoholic beverages in Prisma stores. In Coop stores prices have dropped for 800 different alcoholic drinks. In Maxima prices have dropped for 50 drinks.

Since 2011, excise tax in Estonia was being increased gradually every year. In 2011-2014 the rate was increased 5% a year and in 2015-2016 it was increased further by 15%. The rate increased by another 10% in the 2017-2018. After the most recent reduction of excise tax, it has dropped below its 2016 index.

In reaction to Estonia’s decision to reduce excise tax by 25% on 1 July, Latvia’s Saeima decided to reduce excise tax for strong alcoholic drinks by 15%. Amendments will come to force 1 August 2019 and will remain in force until 29 February 2020.


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