A breakthrough for international wine and spirits producers in India

A breakthrough for international wine and spirits producers in India

India's Government is set to reduce the import duty on wine and spirits from 150% to 50%.

The reduction, announced this week by the Prime Minister's office, is expected to take effect from February, according to lobbyists in the country. No formal date has been confirmed yet for full implementation.

In order to protect local producers, the Government has agreed to a duty-cut on high-end wine and Scotch whisky brands that do not offer direct competition. Wines expected to benefit from the move would be Chardonnays, as India does not use the grape varietal to produce the same quality as Europe.

Negotiations on a free trade agreement between the European Union and India had been expected to complete in the first quarter of 2012. Last month, the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) launched a lobbying mission in the country against the import tariff barriers.