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Oct 25, 2010 / Richard Hall

BRAZIL WATER TAX HIGHEST IN WORLD

While I was in Brazil a fortnight ago for the national mineral water industry congress and trade fair, one of the main talking points was the astonishing level of taxation on using water from natural sources for bottling.  In all the stories I heard, the amount is equivalent to 40% or more of the average retail price in shops.

Not only must this be the highest level of tax on water anywhere in the world, it is also perverse.  I saw many obese children and yet this tax is greater than on any other food or beverage.  Moreover, mineral waters contain no chemicals unlike treated tap waters.

As with the Brazilian economy, the local bottled water industry is in robust good health.  How much better health for all if these taxes were reduced to the same levels as other consumer goods ?

ABINAM, the national association, has worked effectively with government to improve the quality and management of industry standards and is to be commended for making a priority of these tax concerns.

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