A European Commission report has found "blatant violations" of WTO trade obligations in India's tax regime on imported spirits and wines.

The UK's Scotch Whisky Association praised the report, in which the EU threatened to start legal proceedings against India at the WTO in Geneva should the country not move to "rapidly abolish" its duty arrangements on imported spirits.

The SWA has been a fierce critic of India's duty system, where a tax of up to 550% can be levied on a bottle of Scotch.

SWA chief executive Gavin Hewitt said today (7 August): "The Commission's report is both comprehensive and highly critical of India's discriminatory duty regime for imported spirits.  The EU has identified a number of clear violations of WTO rules, sending a strong message to India that it must reform its fiscal regime at the earliest opportunity."

Hewitt said that changes to India's tax regime would create a "fair, level playing field for international producers." Spirit brands produced in India are imported into the EU tariff free.