German start up avoids a 19% luxury tax on tampons by placing them inside a book

In 1963 Germany introduced a "luxury tax" on tampons. In 2019, the Female Company found a way around it by placing tampons inside a book. 

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
German start up avoids a 19% luxury tax on tampons by placing them inside a book - NewsMavens
Tampon. Pixabay

Why this story matters:

German startup the Female Company has found a creative means of avoiding Germany’s 19% “luxury tax” on tampons -- placing the products inside a book.

Source: Screencap from company website

Inside the cover of a book 15 tampons are enclosed. As books are only taxed at 7% in Germany, it reduces the tax price. The first print of the “book” sold out in just one day and more than 10,000 copies have now been purchased.

As well as the tampons themselves, the book contains stories about menstruation, with illustrator Ana Curbelo stating, "My characters are not only proud, confident women, unashamed of periods, but they are also posed in our relaxed natural state. I want people to laugh at the characters’ uninhibited attitude and see themselves in the illustrations."

Details from the story:

  • The Female Company has gathered more than 175,000 signatures on a petition to reduce the levy.
  • Copies of the book were also sent to members of the Bundestag.
  • Germany's "tampon tax" was introduced in 1963, when only 36 of 535 members of parliament were women. 

Project #Femfacts co-financed by European Commission Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology as part of the Pilot Project – Media Literacy For All

The information and views set out on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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