Alcohol companies

Trade gains unlock deals worth over £100m for UK liquor companies – with more to come

  • Removing security barriers that previously discouraged UK businesses selling alcohol overseas in several countries
  • Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch visits the Scotch Whiskey distillery to hail a major victory for British industry which can now sell more products to countries like Angola and Argentina
  • The visit will demonstrate how the UK government’s trade agenda measures up to the Union

UK drinks companies can raise a glass as the UK has unlocked export markets worth more than £100million after breaking trade barriers that have deterred alcohol sales in several countries in South America and Africa.

Commerce Secretary Kemi Badenoch will toast the news during a visit today (October 13) to the Glenkinchie Distillery to meet the whiskey makers who will benefit. Located near Edinburgh, the Victorian distillery was recently transformed as part of an £185million investment in Scotch Whiskey tourism by renowned British distiller Diageo. Glenkinchie is the Lowland Home of Johnnie Walker – the world’s best-selling Scotch whisky.

Changes in Argentina, Angola, Morocco and Tunisia will help leading UK products reach millions of potential new customers and boost alcohol exports, which hit £6.5billion last year .

The newly removed barriers add to an ever-growing list of trade barriers removed over the past two years – now totaling more than 400 barriers in 70 countries.

Commerce Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

Every week we remove a trade barrier somewhere in the world. From whiskey in Argentina to gin in Angola, we’re cutting red tape and opening up access to new markets and new customers.

Now that those trade hurdles are gone and more will follow, my message to UK businesses is clear: make the most of the huge global appetite for your fantastic products and sell them around the world.

As we line up deals with huge markets around the world, including India and the CPTPP, I look forward to celebrating the even bigger wins that lie ahead.

Following the intervention of the Government:

  • The Argentine government has reduced customs duties on whiskey from 35% to 20%.
  • Morocco has removed 49% of erroneously imposed tariffs on a range of British spirits.
  • Planned taxes on alcohol imports into Angola have been cancelled.
  • Alcoholic products held up at Tunisian customs have been released, allowing UK businesses to benefit from reduced tariffs under the UK-Tunisia Association Agreement.

They follow the announcement in June of an ambition to unlock export opportunities worth more than £20bn by solving a ‘hit list’ of around 100 priority trade barriers around the world. .

Negotiators are also currently working on a free trade agreement that could reduce tariffs and simplify other issues like customs to help distilleries sell in India.

The UK exported £146m worth of whiskey to India last year from distilleries such as Glenkinchie but faced steep tariffs of up to 150%.

With India set to become the world’s third-largest economy with a middle class of a quarter of a billion by 2050, any increased market access could be hugely important for UK businesses.

Mark Kent, CEO of the Scotch Whiskey Association, said:

Reaching a deal with India to cut 150% tariffs on Scotch whiskey is the industry’s top international trade priority.

We want a deal, but not just any deal. To serve the industry, any deal must open up the market to more Scotch Whiskey producers, which in turn will generate hundreds of new jobs across the UK, hundreds of millions of pounds of additional exports and boost investments and income in India.

The ongoing negotiations are a unique opportunity to give more Scottish distillers the opportunity to do business in India. This is the scale of the price offered.

We look forward to working with the Commerce Secretary to ensure continued growth of the Scotch Whiskey industry in India and other key global markets.

Ewan Andrew, President of Supply Chain and Global Purchasing at Diageo, said:

It was a pleasure to welcome the Secretary of State to Glenkinchie to see how we are investing in the future growth of Scotch whisky, with all the powerful economic benefits this brings to Scotland and the UK.

The UK-India Free Trade Agreement is a truly unique transformative opportunity for Scotch whiskey and we hope today’s visit has given the Secretary of State a real understanding of our industry and the positive impact India’s FTA could have on the sector. .

A trade deal with India would be the latest in a long line of victories for the UK drinks industry, including:

  • Suspend harmful retaliatory tariffs linked to the Airbus-Boeing disputes – these had targeted around £340m worth of single malt Irish and Scotch whiskey exports to the US
  • Removing tariffs on all UK exports to Australia and New Zealand under these trade deals, making it cheaper to sell products such as gin and Scotch whisky.

The UK also continues to work towards joining the comprehensive and progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership. Joining the £9 trillion GDP bloc could benefit UK alcohol producers by securing lower tariffs for exports, including whisky.

Pernod Ricard, which owns iconic British brands such as The Glenlivet, Beefeater Gin and Chivas Scotch, is also a strong supporter of the UK trade agenda. They see great benefits both in free trade agreements and in DIT’s work to remove barriers to market access, including helping to resolve recent problems exporting their Scotch whiskeys to Morocco. .

Anishka Jelicich, UK director of public affairs at Pernod Ricard, said

British spirits are winning markets and securing jobs thanks to the UK’s global trade policy. We strongly support the free trade agreements currently being negotiated with India and the CPTPP.

We also appreciate DIT’s often overlooked work breaking down barriers to market access around the world every day. For example, thanks to DIT intervention last year, we were able to resolve customs paperwork issues that meant we would have had to pay a 49% tariff in Morocco, Africa’s fourth largest market for whiskey. Scottish.