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Smuggled Swede sweets eat away Danish tax take

TT/The Local/vt · 28 Dec 2010, 12:32

Published: 28 Dec 2010 12:32 GMT+01:00

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Skat, the Danish tax authority, revealed that every other kiosk that it has inspected sells smuggled candy from Sweden.

The reason behind the appetite for illegal Swedish candy stems from a high sugar duty amounting to 17.75 Danish kroner ($3.15) per kilogramme, resulting in brisk illegal cross-border trade.

"Candy is our biggest challenge right now," Skat's Lars Klamer told Danmarks Radio (DR) on Monday.

According to the report, illegal candy sales cost the Danish industry millions of kroner because it cannot compete on price. At the same time, they also cheat the state out of millions in taxes and duties.

Klamer added that the number of individuals and businesses simply crossing the Öresund between Copenhagen and Malmö to shop without paying taxes and surcharges has soared.

Story continues below…

He acknowledged that the tax agency has made progress in stamping out smuggled beer and soft drink sales, but the Danish Chamber of Commerce singled out the job and business losses as a result of the illegal trade.

The chamber estimated that 15 percent of all candy trade in Denmark is illegal, the report said.

TT/The Local/vt (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:09 December 28, 2010 by JulieLou40
The Danish authorities have only got themselves to blame. Their prices shouldn't be so high!!
17:21 December 28, 2010 by Beavis
Should do a swap for beer instead.. Both countries are acting like nannies. People should be allowed to choose for themselves and not have governments ramming thier own ideas down peoples throats.
19:11 December 28, 2010 by JulieLou40
Well said.
20:25 December 28, 2010 by Jools33
Having exceptional tax rates for something as basic as sugar - I truly wonder what the reasoning is behind the Danes zany taxes - except making a quick buck for the treasury.
21:55 December 28, 2010 by GLO
Live by the sword, die by the candy bar. Excessive taxes will always create problems.
22:58 December 28, 2010 by mojofat
Worst. Headline. Ever.
01:28 December 29, 2010 by cms123
Agreed.. always avoid alliteration.
02:43 December 29, 2010 by DAVID T
Isn't there supposed to be free movement of goods between EEC countries?
04:02 December 29, 2010 by Alohart
Maybe Denmark is trying to combat obesity, diabetes, and other serious illnesses that increase health care costs.

When we first immigrated to Sweden from the (obese) U.S., we were shocked by the godis consumption rate in Sweden. So much sugar consumption can't be good.
12:20 December 29, 2010 by Beavis
Yes David, both countries are clearly violating EU law.But then Sweden tends to plain ignore EU rules except when it suits them. At Alohart, yes Swedes and Danes eat an awful lot of "godis", but they also eat far healthier than most Americans (and were not forced to by any government taxes) There is also a certain onus on the manufacturers. Youll find American chocolate is sickeningly sweet and contains far more sugar than any chocolate in other countries. (Its also much poorer quality) If you want to eat healthy, it should be your choice, your income taxes will be paying the hospital bills!
19:01 December 29, 2010 by coot
I don't understand this article. Like David, I though that the EU did not allow for taxes on goods crossing the border between the member states. If, as Beavis says, both countries are violating EU law, isn't it the case that Denmark is illegally charging an import tax on the candy?

I would expect that readers of The Local generally are not native Swedes, and so we don't necessarily know the background to make sense of an article like this. A little more explanation would be helpful sometimes.
21:29 December 30, 2010 by jjoensuu
Perhaps it is an excuse to implement backscatter scanning on all travellers and their luggage...
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