CIABC- The New Indian Express

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By Express News Service

The Confederation of India Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), a representative body of leading Indian alcohol beverage companies, has demanded that the European Union remove the non-tariff barriers that prevent the vast majority of Indian products from being sold in the EU.

Director General of CIABC Vinod Giri in a statement has said that the trade deal with the EU on alcoholic beverages should be no different from the UK, negotiations for which are currently underway.

Giri said that the EU condition of long maturation for a product to qualify as whisky in the EU works as a non-tariff barrier for Indian whiskies.

“It has been highlighted several times, along with scientific substantiations, that such long maturation is not applicable under warm Indian climate. We believe that it is effectively a non-tariff barrier since long maturation increases the cost of Indian products by 30-40% as spirit evaporates 10-15% every year under Indian climate (compared 1-2% in Europe) and the cost of capital deployed during maturation (8-10% per annum in India compared to 2-3% for Europe). We firmly believe that if the EU does not repeal the law on the maturation, any trade agreement will be one-sided favoring only the EU, and will do nothing for the Indian industry,” he added.

He says CIABC firmly believes that India should offer the EU the same deal which is eventually agreed with the UK on spirits, and what has been agreed with Australia on wines.

“India should not offer any concessions if the EU does not open up its market for Indian products by repealing rules pertaining to maturation,” Giri added.

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