Pierre Garello
Professor of Economics
Université Aix-Marseille, France

Economic analysis shows clearly that the current situation in France in relation to taxation of palm oil is as follows:

  • Palm oil is taxed at a higher rate than all domestic oils – rapeseed, sunflower and olive oils.
  • The situation is clearly discriminatory against palm oil.

The current tax levels for vegetable oils in France are:


The proposal being considered by the Parliament, to increase the tax on palm oil even further, would worsen the discrimination.

This economic analysis shows that the proposed tax, passed in the Senate as part of the Biodiversity Bill, is based on a false premise and is economically unsound for reasons:

  • The claim by the Senate that palm oil is currently ‘under-taxed’ in France is factually and materially wrong.
  • The Senators’ use of Excise Duty tables to compare the taxes on different oils is misleading. The Excise Duty tables are not the correct measurement to use for understanding taxes on oils.
  • The correct economic measurement is the percentage of tax for each product.

With correct measurements, the result is clear: palm oil is currently subject to discriminatory taxation compared to olive, rapeseed and sunflower oils. The Senators’ proposal for a new palm oil tax would multiply the discrimination:


The level of discrimination proposed in the amendment is absurd, and the economics of the Senators simply do not add up.


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