FDBusiness.com

Brexit – What Now For Scotch Whisky?

 Breaking News
  • EU Agri-food Exports are Holding Strong The value of EU agri-food exports reached €137.9 billion in 2017, corresponding to a sustained increase by 5.1% in value terms compared to 2016. Published by the European Commission, the latest monthly trade report details the export values for different sectors and origin. Major gains in annual values have been achieved in agri-food exports to the USA [...]...
  • Danone Continues to Make Solid Progress With Strong 2017 Results Danone has posted consolidated sales of €24.68 billion for 2017, up by 2.5% on a ‘like-for-like New Danone’ basis (reflecting the integration of the WhiteWave acquisition), including a 3.9% rise in value showing continued mix and value enhancement in all business sectors, which offset a 1.4% decline in volume. Full-year reported sales were up 12.5% [...]...
  • Nestlé Reports Weak Sales But Margins Improve Nestlé has reported a 0.4% increase in sales to SFr89.8 billion (€77.7 billion) for 2017. Net divestments reduced sales by 1.9%, largely related to the creation of the Froneri ice cream joint venture. Foreign exchange had a minimal negative impact of 0.1%. Organic growth was 2.4%, with 1.6% of real internal growth (RIG) and pricing [...]...
  • Customized Ingredient Solutions are the Way to More and Better Gluten-free Bakery DuPont Nutrition & Health has announced the results of a consumer survey where consumers in four key European markets were asked about their attitudes to gluten-free bakery products. The survey results have revealed untapped potential for bakers to develop more and better-quality products with extra nutritional benefits. While only an estimated 1 percent of the population [...]...
  • Leading Retailers Join the UK’s Big Plastics Debate Coca Cola, Co-Op, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Iceland will come together under one roof for the first time at Packaging Innovations 2018, to talk about the UK’s hottest topic – plastics in packaging. These leading brands will form a panel, as part of the show’s Big Plastics Debate, discussing the road ahead for packaging [...]...

Brexit – What Now For Scotch Whisky?

Brexit – What Now For Scotch Whisky?
August 04
09:19 2016

Since UK voters decided that the UK should leave the European Union, the Scotch Whisky Association has been busy consulting members on what that means for one of the country’s most significant industries and exporters. More than 90% of Scotch Whisky produced is sold outside the UK. Indeed, Scotch Whisky is the biggest single net contributor to the UK’s balance of trade in goods, and without this contribution the UK’s trade deficit would be over 10% larger.  Moreover, of the £3.8 billion worth of Scotch exported last year, £1.2 billion – almost a third of the total – was shipped to the EU.

So, as global traders, the industry is taking a very close interest in the arrangements for trade after Brexit.  The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has a wealth of knowledge and experience of EU and global trade and legal issues, built up over many years. It is ideally placed to advise on the post-Brexit options that will be best for the UK economy and its position on the world stage.Here the SWA sets out the potential consequences of Brexit for Scotch – including challenges and opportunities – and what action the industry wants to see from governments.1.  Certain things will not change, whatever the future arrangements:

  • Scotch Whisky will not face a tariff on exports to the EU.  0% is the current EU tariff and World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules mean it won’t change.
  • In many markets Scotch will also continue to benefit from existing zero tariffs, for example in the US, Canada, and Mexico, as these are offered to all countries already.  In many other markets that already demand high tariffs, for example India, Brexit will not make the situation any worse.
  • We will be able to protect Scotch Whisky across the EU and globally to the extent we can now, although the precise mechanisms for some markets will have to change, and we will have to put other measures in place to ensure continuity.

2.  Other things will definitely change:

  • As for other UK goods, there will be new administrative requirements (rules of origin) for exports to the EU.
  • The UK will eventually lose access to the EU’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). Unless there are transitional arrangements, Scotch will lose significant tariff reductions in certain markets, notably Korea, South Africa, and Colombia and Peru. The UK will eventually need to negotiate its own FTAs or rely, as the EU largely does with most countries, on WTO rules.  This will take a major upgrade of capacity within the UK Government and can’t be done quickly.
  • We will no longer be subject to EU rules on excise duty or VAT.

3.  There are some major uncertainties:

  • The Government has not yet been clear whether it is looking for the UK to have EEA status, like Norway, or a more distant relationship based on a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, like Canada or Switzerland.  The key difference is that EEA status keeps most EU single market laws in force in the UK, at the price of accepting free movement and a budget contribution.   An FTA relationship means Britain would need its own rules in these areas.
  • The difference is crucial because many laws setting out the rules for Scotch and the food and drink sector generally are made at European level – for example rules on the definition of whisky, food labelling, bottle sizes, and so on.  If these laws are to be rewritten it will make Brexit more complicated and the industry will need to start planning now.
David Frost, chief executive of SWA.

David Frost, chief executive of SWA.

4.  So the Scotch Whisky industry priorities are as follows:

  • a UK trade policy that is as open and free trading as possible;
  • Broad clarity on the nature of the future arrangement that is sought with the EU, so we know how much new legislation to expect;
  • agreement with the EU on practical arrangements enabling us to export Scotch Whisky to and across Europe as simply as possible.  We will also need new UK legislation for customs enforcement and interception of counterfeit goods;
  • Existing FTAs’ provisions to be subject to transitional arrangements, or to be ‘grandfathered’ (ie continue application to the UK after Brexit). This will need an understanding with the EU and with the third countries concerned;
  • Over the medium term, UK development of its own network of trade agreements with non-EU countries;
  • reflection on a new excise duty regime that is fairer to Scotch Whisky and taxes alcohol more rationally across categories; and
  • No further burdens on business at such a sensitive time.

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, says: “Scotch Whisky is one of the UK’s most successful exports. We are calling on the UK Government to bring clarity to the transition to Brexit as soon as possible, and to negotiate to ensure that the current open trading environment is not affected.  Finding practical ways forward on export practicalities and on free trade agreements should be high on the agenda as negotiations begin in the coming months. We plan to play an active role in influencing this whole process to ensure that Scotch remains a product enjoyed across the globe.”

About Author

mike

mike

Related Articles



Food & Drink Business Conference & Exhibition 2016

Upcoming Events

  • February 25, 2018fish international
  • February 27, 2018Warsaw Gastro Show
  • February 27, 2018Int'l Food Fair
  • February 28, 2018GAST
AEC v1.0.4

find food jobs

The Magazine

F&D Business Preferred Suppliers

New Subscriber





Subscribe Here



Advertisements