EU: Fresh WTO battle launched over Indian spirits tax
EU trade officials have launched a fresh complaint at the World Trade Organisation over high import tariffs on wine and spirits in several Indian states.
A formal consultation with India was today (22 September) requested by the European Commission.
The move, which had been expected, follows EU frustration at import tax on wine and spirits in several Indian states. India agreed to lower "additional duty" on imports in July 2007, following an initial World Trade Organisation (WTO) case, but the EU says some states have ignored the deal.
European drinks industry bodies, which see India as a key emerging market, immediately backed the EU.
"All we are asking for is a level playing field," said Jamie Fortescue, director general of spirits body CEPS.
Both CEPS and wine trade association CEEV (Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins) said in a joint statement: "The state of Maharashtra has granted a 'tax holiday' to domestically produced wines, whilst a 200% special fee is applied to imported wines. In Goa, imported wines and spirits face significantly higher internal taxes than domestic products."
Maharashtra and Goa represent half of Indian wine and spirits consumption, the two groups added.
EU exports to India are valued at an annual EUR57m (US$83m) for spirits and EUR11m for wine, they said.
Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya, owner of Scotch whisky group Whyte & Mackay, warned Europe earlier this year to be less aggressive in its approach to the dispute.
Legislation being proposed by the Scottish government would, if passed, represent some of the strictest alcohol regulation in the EU, so it's no surprise that it has provoked widespread reaction. just...
William Grant & Sons has extended its distribution agreement with the owner of vodka brand Stolichnaya, SPI Group....
The Charmer Sunbelt Group (CSG) has taken on the distribution of Bacardi USA and Brown-Forman's brands in a handful of states in the US....
Gruppo Campari has posted a slight lift in full-year net profit, despite a dip in sales in the period....
Provence wine producers have expressed deep concern over their future if EU plans to allow the blending of red and white wines to make rosés are adopted....
Plans to restrict alcoholic drinks sales in Scotland, including the introduction of a minimum price, cannot be implemented without fresh legislation, opposition parties have warned....
Whyte & Mackay has declined to comment on reports that it could be sold by its parent company in the coming months....
Diageo has confirmed that it will temporarily close one of its facilities in Scotland later this month....
- Boom time for soft drinks in West Europe?
- Protein interest offers drinks opportunities - NPD
- Patron's lesson for the broader spirits sector
- Inchdairnie and the quiet whisky revolution
- Britvic's H1 Performance by Region - Focus
- Analysts clash over AB InBev SAB Brexit impact
- Pernod switches Travel Retail Europe op's director
- Diageo names Javier Ferran as new chairman
- SABMiller issues currency alert as Africa weakens
- Purity Vodka appoints new CEO
- Global Scotch whisky insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global travel retail insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global RTD insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Keurig Green Mountain in Hot Drinks (World)
- Global non-Scotch whiskies insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends