New taxes on food products, cigarettes take effect

May 7, 2012

Starting this week, some 90 products will be charged a 13 percent sales tax, according to a decree published by the Finance Ministry on April 30. Finance Minister Édgar Ayales on Monday said the ministry would publish a clarification in response to several questions people have raised regarding the new list.

Ayales said the ministry also would make public a revised text that includes exemptions for bread, milk, tuna, cold cuts, beans and cheese. The newly taxed items are mostly food products and consumer goods consumed by higher-income groups, he said.

Also, starting this week, smokers will pay up to ₡400 ($0.80) more for cigarette packs of 20. Smaller packs will also be taxed more.

Tobacco companies adjusted prices to comply with the General Law of Tobacco Control, which establishes a new tax of ₡20 per cigarette in each pack.

The new law also prohibits selling single cigarettes as part of new measures aimed at curbing the growth of nicotine addiction.

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