The Belgian Brewers' Federation has submitted an appeal to the European Commission, challenging the French Government's decision to raise the tax on beer by 160 percent at the beginning of the year. The Brewers of Europe association has followed suit.
The French Government increased the specific tax on beer by 22 cents per liter from January 1, 2013, within the framework of its 2013 social security finance law. The measure formed part of efforts to reduce excessive alcohol consumption, particularly among the young as a matter of priority.
At the time, the Government defended the provision, arguing that the existing tax rate was particularly low compared to rates applied in other European countries. The Government insisted that preventative action was therefore needed to ensure that it becomes financially more difficult in future to access alcoholic products.