Breweries Ask Russia to Skip Beer Tax Increase to Support Output
Some of the world’s biggest brewers have asked the Russian government to hold off on further increases in beer excise tax in order to support production.
The local unit of global leader Anheuser-Busch InBev NV was among those that asked the Economy Ministry to freeze the tax and skip an 11 percent increase planned in January, according to a statement from the Union of Russian Brewers. The union also represents the Russian breweries of Carlsberg A/S, Heineken NV, and SABMiller Plc-backed Anadolu Efes.
Russia has already agreed to drop a tax increase for strong alcohol. Brewers are seeking “a fair approach” and asking for equal treatment, Oraz Durdyev, head of legal and corporate relations at AB InBev’s Russian unit, said by e-mail. “Otherwise, alcohol consumption would be skewed towards vodka.”
Russia has been gradually raising taxes for beer and vodka, aiming both to boost budget revenue and fight excessive drinking. Beer output has fallen almost 30 percent since 2008 as a result, according to the state statistics service.
Bloomberg News, edited by ESM