Sugar importers prefer fines

  • 2005-12-07
  • From wire reports
TALLINN - Not one Estonian company withdrew its excess sugar from the market as of last week's deadline, though 26 companies paid excess sugar penalties, an alternative to removing the sugar.

Total penalties paid reached 9.5 million kroons (61,000 euros).

The Agriculture Ministry has specified 63 companies as having excess sugar stocks to the tune of of 26,800 tons. On the basis of its own inspections the Tax Board added 15,100 tons to the lot.

Tax Board spokeswoman Liis Plakk said that one of the reasons why companies refused to remove the excess sugar was simple protest: Companies filed numerous complaints against the ministry's decisions in various courts.

The board will issue notices to companies that have failed to remove the excess sugar stock from the market. The deadline for penalty payment will be June 30, 2006.

The tax administrator has also issued tax notices, in the total amount of 89 million kroons, on stocks of other agricultural products to 33 companies. Of these, 21 companies have protested notices worth 88.7 million kroons.