Mexico · Decision · Judicial

Several Industries v. Government

Issue:

After a tax increase on processed foods and industrialized sugar-sweetened beverages in 2014, the industry challenged the constitutionality of the tax.
The law's constitutionality was held in a series of five continuous cases from different companies:
1. Desde el Corazón del Fruto, S.A. de C.V.
2. Compañía Embotelladora del Fuerte, S. de R.L. de C.V.
3. Embotelladora y Distribuidora GEPP, S.A. de C.V.
4. Yoli de Acapulco, S.A. de C.V.
5. Leche Bell, S.A. de C.V.

Summary:

The Court ruled in favor of the constitutionality of the law on the five continuous cases, based on the following reasonings that are considered obligatory jurisprudence for Mexican judges:
1. According to the Mexican Constitution, Congress has the faculty to establish the necessary taxes to cover the budget. Furthermore, the Court established that the extra-fiscal purposes of this type of tax does not modify its revenue-raising nature.
2. The tax is not contrary to the rights of free competition and concurrence, because it does not create any disadvantage to the plaintiff as it can still participate in the market, and the public can access it.
3. The tax is compatible with the principle of tax equity.
4. The tax is compatible with the consumer’s right of free choice and the right to food, as it allows the consumer to know the disadvantages of the product and leaves him/her free to choose whether to bear it in order to discourage its consumption, in compatibility with point 3, paragraph a), of the United Nations Guidelines for Consumer Protection; in addition to the fact that the tax measure is intended to ensure that citizens achieve a healthy and sufficient diet.
5. The tax is compatible with the proportionality and reasonableness of the tax measure because its purpose is to combat overweight obesity. Moreover, the proceeds of the measure sure be used to combat overweight and obesity.