Branchen und Wirtschaftszweige, Konjunktur

Tax sovereignty and feasibility of international regulations for tobacco tax policies

10.07.2014 | HWWI Research Paper | von Michael Bräuninger

Taxation is a fundamental part of national sovereignty. The two dominant components of tax sovereignty are the ability to generate revenue and have full control over fiscal policy. Therefore, the key components of a state’s expression of sovereignty are the right to determine tax rates, structures and the use of tax revenues. With a view to implementing of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) provisions on Article 6 – tax and price measures for tobacco products, Parties did not envisage adopting the guidelines to support the implementation of this article. The main reason behind this decision was that prescriptive obligations were inappropriate and unacceptable, because they would infringe on tax sovereignty, while national tax regulations would not permit an international body or treaty to create obligations in this important area. However, subsequently a decision was made to develop Article 6 guidelines. As a consequence the guidelines’ content now deviates significantly from countries’ original intentions and the FCTC Treaty.