Levy to soft drinks applied in April 2018

Date published: 05/04/18

Who is likely to be affected –
All UK producers of soft drinks, importers of soft drinks, wholesale and retailers of soft drinks and consumers who buy soft drinks

General description of the measure
This is a new levy that applies to the production and importation of soft drinks containing added sugar.
The levy will apply to the producers and importers of these types of drinks. It will have a lower rate which will apply to added sugar drinks with a total sugar content of 5 grams or more per 100 millilitres and a higher rate for drinks with 8 grams or more per 100 millilitres.
It will not apply to any drink where no sugar is added.
Alcoholic drinks with an Alcohol by volume of up to 1.2% are included in the levy. The government will make provision to exempt certain drinks that fall within this category from the levy.
Government Policy objective
A levy on soft drinks will contribute to the government’s plans to reduce childhood obesity by removing added sugar from soft drinks. The levy encourages producers of added sugar soft drinks to:
reformulate their products to reduce the sugar content
reduce portion sizes for added sugar drinks and importers to import reformulated drinks with low added sugar to encourage consumers of soft drinks to move to healthier choices

The new levy is in line with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and HM Treasury (HMT) legislation.

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