The French Treasury has proposed a range of measures to tackle rising obesity in the country. The proposals include either a new tax or an increase in the current rate of VAT on unhealthy foods.
In France currently the reduced rate of 5.5% applies generally to food products, whereas only limited items such as caviar, chocolate and vegetable fats are subject to the standard rate of 20%. If implemented the change could see a number of food products becoming subject to the standard rate of VAT in France.
Any attempt by the tax authorities to create a bespoke list of unhealthy foods could meet with legal challenges in the future on when a food product falls into a certain VAT rate. This could therefore lead to increased administration for business as seen in other Member States.