Survey: Estonia's duty hike drove Finns to Latvia to buy alcohol

When Estonia increased the excise duty on beer and other low-alcohol beverages by 70 percent at the beginning of July, Finns who had previously traveled to Estonia to purchase cheap alcohol immediately began traveling to Latvia in search of lower prices, according to a survey conducted by Research and Analysis Centre TAK.

While just four percent of Finns who had traveled to Estonia by ferry had purchased alcohol somewhere other than in Estonia or onboard in June, in July and August this number had increased to over nine percent, reported Finnish broadcasting company Yle.

Of those Finns who returned ack to Finland with more than 100 liters of alcohol, a full half had traveled to Latvia or even further to purchase it.

According to the survey, 37 percent of beer, 38 percent of cider and 39 percent of long drinks brought back to Finland via ferries from Estonia in July and August was purchased in Latvia or another foreign country.

In contrast, 90 percent of wine and strong liquor brought back to Finland was purchased in Estonia or onboard.

A total of 2,873 Finnish citizens who had traveled between Finland and Estonia by ferry between September 2016 and August 2017 participated in the survey.

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