American Society of Magazine Editors

Denmark Seeks to Impose a Huge Import Tax on Magazines

In an apparent effort to help the Danish printing industry, Value Added Tax (VAT) legislation is being considered by the Danish Parliament that would effectively ban magazines printed outside the European Union from being sold in Denmark. MPA and several member companies are working closely with the US Department of Commerce and the International Trade Administration in Brussels to stop this legislation, which could become a dangerous precedent for other EU countries to follow.

The VAT legislation, which has been under consideration since June, would impose a 25% value added tax on magazines sent into Denmark from countries outside the European Union. In addition, subscribers to magazines printed outside the EU would be required to go to a Danish Post office to pay an importation fee of 160 DKK ($29) for every issue. If subscribers chose to pay the import fee, the cost would be over $12 million per year.

Objections to the import tax were raised in late November when the Danish Parliament’s Tax Committee first read the bill. The legal basis for the bill was questioned and concerns over implementation and administration were expressed. In late December, the Minister of Taxation met with Post Denmark as well as other interested groups to discuss issues related to the bill. Efforts to table the bill will continue in advance of the next meeting of the Tax Committee later this month.