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SWA calls for zero tariffs on whisky making materials

Published:  29 June, 2018

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has called for zero tariffs on imports of whisky making materials in the Brexit negotiations.

In a new call to the UK government for “unfettered” access to the EU market, the SWA said that it wanted glass, cork and cereal imports from the EU to be tariff-free post-Brexit.

The SWA said Brexit would not however affect whisky exports in terms of tariffs.

A source said: “Scotch Whisky will face zero tariffs to the EU no matter what the Brexit deal.”

The SWA said that under WTO rules (in the 1994 GATT agreement), Scotch Whisky will continue after Brexit, to benefit from a zero tariffs on exports to the EU, as well as USA, Canada and Japan.

However, the SWA is set to lose its lobbying role within the EU to the the Irish Whiskey Association, once Irish Whiskey becomes the EU leading whiskey category, post-Brexit.

Despite the prospect of losing its sphere of influence within the EU, SWA said: “Our focus must be to ensure that we continue to have unfettered access to the EU market, so that Scotch Whisky can continue to thrive post-Brexit and, importantly, that there is high degree of regulatory alignment with our closest neighbours,” it said.

“We expect to continue to work with a range of European partners to achieve this,” it added.

The SWA said it had actively participated, along with partner associations like spiritsEUROPE, in EU debates ensuring that consistent rules on production, labelling and Geographical Indications are in place and enforced across Europe.