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Slovenia: Rising Excise Duties Contribute to Inflation

Slovenia’s excise duties are used solely to fund the state budget, with annual inflows amounting to almost 2.5 per cent of the country’s GDP.

The state collected €1.45 billion in excise duties last year, equating to 6.2% of all consolidated budget revenue. Slovenia’s 2024 budget envisages excise duties generating just over €1.5 billion, with total budget revenues set to amount to €14 billion. VAT thus remains the biggest budget contributor and should provide approximately €5.4 billion according to plans for this year, while excise duties represent the third largest contributor to the annual budget, providing slightly more than 10%.

Government pressure and attempts to raise excise duties is most evident in the cases of alcohol and cigarettes, while there is noticeably less room to increase tariffs in the case of fuel. The high level of excise duties reflect strongly in the price of motor fuels, which was among the causes of the country’s relatively high inflation in the previous period. Slovenia’s current fuel price regulation model allows the government to set the highest permitted price of fuel at filling stations every 14 days, except for those on highways, as a tool for regulating excise duties on fuel.

The most recent increase in excise duties, coming this spring, pertained to tobacco products and amounted to two to four per cent, depending on the type of product, while alcohol avoided being subjected to higher excise duties. Tobacco products are generally considered as having a retail price that contains the largest share of taxes. In the case of cigarettes, this share of price varies between 70 and 90 per cent in EU countries, while it stands at slightly over 80 per cent in Slovenia. According to KPMG, 3.33 billion cigarettes were sold in Slovenia in 2022, with 0.78 billion of that total heading to neighbouring countries. According to this study, legal domestic consumption in Slovenia totalled 2.55 billion cigarettes last year, while imports from other countries and the consumption of illegally produced cigarettes each amounted to 0.1 billion. A total of 2.75 billion cigarettes are allegedly consumed in this way.

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