*Nettavisen* Nyheter.

«Norway has to cut wine duties»

Foto: Art of Taste

Wine and liquor suppliers claim that the alcohol duties in Norway have to cut similar to a considered duty cut in Sweden.

The Wine and Liquor Suppliers Organization (Vin- og brennevinsleverandørenes forening - VBF) claims that there is distinct possibility that Norway will lose control over smuggling and boarder trade if the alcohol duties are not cut in accordance to a considered cut in Sweden.

Lately Swedish media have been speculating in whether or not the Swedish government will cut the duties on wine with as much 25 percent, resulting in wine becoming about 10 percent cheaper.

A month ago, a suggestion to cut the Swedish liquor duties by 40 percent was presented. The reduction will probably take effect next summer.

«Considerable Swedish duty cuts on wine and liquor will most likely result in a strong increase of Norwegian boarder trade and smuggling,» said Jan Ottesen, head of information at VGF, in one press release. «It is therefore completely necessary that Norwegian politicians ensure Norwegian legal trade and employment by regulating Norwegian alcohol duties in accordance to the Swedish.»

Thirsty Norwegians shop for as much as 6.5 million liter wine at the Swedish wine and liquor monopoly. If the duties are cut the Norwegian boarder trade is expected to increase with about 19.5 percent.

Smuggling will also most likely increase. Ottesen pointed out that about 60 to 70 percent of all people who shop just across the boarder bring back more than the legal quota.

«If Norwegian politicians do not follow up the duty adjustments in Sweden, we risk losing control over the Norwegian alcohol sale due to boarder trade and smuggling taking over from the State wine and liquor monopoly,» Ottesen concluded.

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