Excise Duty, a Hard Nut to Crack? -from (In)validity to Reality

Marlene Ferguen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze the regulation of the Danish excise duty on nuts on whether it is legitimate or just legal. In law, legitimacy is distinguished from legality. An action can be legal but not legitimate and vice versa. Legitimacy is the right to rule and the recognition by the ruled of that right by the society. Legitimacy and public consent are necessary conditions of the justifiable use of state power: those who are subject to legislation must see the legislation as right and proper. The analysis found, that the excise duty on nuts, is not legitimate in today's society since the purpose of the regulation and the society has changed over time. The analysis also found that the excise duty on nuts is contrary to the EU law, TEUF article 30. If the excise duty on nuts is repealed from the Danish Chocolate excise duty Act, the Chocolate excise duty Act could potentially lead to infringement of the EU law. However, the excise duty on nuts can be repealed in its entirety if the provisions of CHOAL ยง22 (4) No. 1 and 2 are repealed as well. The abolition of the excise duty is not effective enough to achieve improved public health alone. The abolition of excise duty on nuts will lead to a relatively modest change in the behavior of the entire population by 13%. That corresponds to a change in the daily intake of nuts of 0,85 grams. The health benefits of consumption of nuts in this thesis are based on a daily intake of 30 grams of the entire population.
The thesis, therefore, examined alternative solutions that could help increase the sales of nuts and thereby lead to an improved overall health of the Danish population. The analysis found that campaigns, food labeling and the visibility of food in stores, generally have a significant effect on the behavior. Together with the abolition of the excise duty on nuts, it can help increase the consumption of nuts and thus contribute to increased public health. However, nuts are just a small part of the overall health picture on the prevention and
prolongation of middle-life in Denmark, to help reduce the public health expenses. However, an increase in consumption of nuts does improve the public health and therefore the message is clear; abolish the excise duty on nuts and reduce the public health expenses in the long run.

EducationsMSc in Commercial Law, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages80