Thanks to the high taxes placed on imported alcohol, Vietnam’s Beer Alcohol Beverage Association (VBA) recently expressed concern over the sharp rise in beverage smuggling that has taken place so far this year. While VBA reported confiscating just over 35,000 cans of foreign beer illegally smuggled into the country in 2013, this year’s figure already stands at more than 40,000. According to VBA Chairman Nguyen Van Viet, the special consumption tax on alcoholic beverages in Vietnam currently stands at USD$54.8 per 100 litres, a steep fee if you consider similar taxes in neighbouring countries such as Cambodia, where the cost is USD$19.23 per 100 litres, or China, which charges a paltry USD$4.03 per 100 litres. Foreign beer companies, such as Heineken and Carlsberg, have also reported a 15 to 17 percent decline in sales.

Photo: Tuoi Tre