Subway bread does not meet the needs of the staple food (stable food), the Irish Supreme Court ruled. So Subway bread is not bread.

The decision is based on the Irish VAT Act.

Bookfinders, a retail company that operates subway restaurants in Ireland on a franchise basis, had already appealed a lower court decision that the bread used by Subway was not bread.

Basic foodstuffs are exempt from VAT in Ireland, and this exemption was sought by Subway.


The Supreme Court is now Irish Independentin according to the line that Subway bread dough has too much sugar. The flour used in the dough contains 10 percent sugar by weight. The limit for VAT exemption is 2% sugar by weight.

– As Subway’s bread contains five times the amount of sugar allowed by the VAT Act, Subway’s products cannot be considered as bread, said the judge who presided over the Supreme Court hearing. Donal O‘Donnell.

– Subway sandwiches do not contain bread by definition, so they cannot be called food within the meaning of the VAT Act 1972, added Judge O‘Donnell.

In the eyes of the law, Subway breads are, according to the judge, confectionery (confectionary) and are therefore subject to VAT.