The Philippines Government has said that it will appeal a World Trade Organisation ruling that would force it to lower tax on spirits imported from the EU and US.

The move lays down another hurdle for officials in the EU and US in their efforts to increase spirits' companies market access to the Philippines.

While the World Trade Organisation's ruling remains confidential for the time being, just-drinks understands from sources that the trade body has sided with the US and EU over their claims that high import taxes on spirits in the Philippines are illegal.

Today (7 July), Philippines presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told journalists at a daily briefing: "I spoke to trade secretary Greg Domingo and we will appeal the ruling." 

The EU and US launched separate complaints at the WTO against the Philippines, but, in April 2010, the WTO combined these into one case. Tax on imported spirits, the EU and US argued, could be up to 50% higher than on domestic products.