` EVOO for Use in Cosmetics Gets a Tax Break in Italy - Olive Oil Times

EVOO for Use in Cosmetics Gets a Tax Break in Italy

Sep. 15, 2021
Paolo DeAndreis

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The Italian Revenue Agency has ruled that extra vir­gin olive oil used in cos­met­ics is enti­tled to the same value-added tax (VAT) as extra vir­gin olive oil des­tined for human con­sump­tion.

In Italy, veg­etable oils, vir­gin and extra vir­gin olive oil des­tined for human con­sump­tion are sub­ject to a four per­cent VAT. Meanwhile, a 10 per­cent VAT is applied to refined olive oils and any veg­etable or seed oil des­tined for other pur­poses, such as bio­fuel, cos­met­ics or other indus­trial prod­ucts.

The announce­ment from the Agenzia delle Entrate came after a mar­ket­ing firm asked the agency to con­firm at which VAT its extra vir­gin and vir­gin olive oil had to be sold for use in cos­met­ics.

See Also:Italian Olive Growers Suffer Through Long Summer of Drought, Wildfires

The agency, in turn, pub­lished an offi­cial inter­pre­ta­tion of the cur­rent rules. It said that the four per­cent regime is to be attrib­uted only to those olive oils deriv­ing from the sim­ple press­ing of the olives, with no addi­tives involved what­so­ever.

The agency spec­i­fied that the trans­for­ma­tion of those olives will not have caused any alter­ation” of the result­ing oil, and the olives will not have under­gone any process dif­fer­ent from wash­ing, decant­ing, cen­trifu­ga­tion and fil­ter­ing.”


The result­ing olive oil also must adhere to the chem­i­cal and organolep­tic para­me­ters that define extra vir­gin and vir­gin olive oils, per European Union reg­u­la­tion.

In par­tic­u­lar, olive oils obtained with the use of sol­vents, chem­i­cal or bio­chem­i­cal addi­tives or through chem­i­cal reac­tions of con­den­sa­tion, or else mixed oils of dif­fer­ent nature are excluded.” For these refined olive oils, the VAT remains at 10 per­cent.

The agency also empha­sized how the four per­cent rule applies to other veg­etable oils des­tined for human or ani­mal con­sump­tion, included the raw veg­etable oils des­tined to be refined for food pro­duc­tion.

Solely in the case of olive oil, though, wrote the agency, the rule does not ask for the prod­uct to be des­tined explic­itly for con­sump­tion.

The use of high-qual­ity olive oil in the cos­met­ics indus­try should not come as a sur­prise, given that olive oil has been used for skin­care for mil­len­nia.

Olive oil-based unguents and cos­met­ics have been found in 5,000-year-old tombs in Egypt, where they were used to pre­serve mum­mies. Both ancient Greek and Roman bathers used olive oil for clean­ing them­selves.

Furthermore, olive oil soap has been pro­duced in the Levant for more than 1,000 years. By the four­teenth cen­tury, olive oil also played a crit­i­cal role in the medieval soap fac­to­ries of Venice and Marseille.

Around the world, olive oil is used to cleanse, reju­ve­nate and heal dam­aged skin and applied as a mois­tur­izer and make-up remover.

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