Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey Welcomes Reductions In Canadian Spirits Levies

By Dave Simpson
Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey Welcomes Reductions In Canadian Spirits Levies

The representative body for the Irish whiskey industry, Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey, has welcomed the news that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario has reduced its levies on EU and UK spirits by 42%, and that Québec is due to reduce its levies on imported spirits by 16.4% from May 23.

"New Opportunities For Irish Whiskey Brands"

In a statement published on Drinks Ireland's website, head of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey William Lavelle said, "These latest reductions come on foot of audits carried out at the request of the EU under the terms of the CETA [EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade] agreement, and will open up new opportunities for Irish whiskey brands."

Calling On The Dáil To Vote In Favour Of Ratification Of CETA Agreement

Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey stated on Drinks Ireland's website, "Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey, the representative body for the Irish whiskey industry, has called on members of Dáil Éireann to vote in favour of Ireland's ratification of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement.

"While the CETA deal has been in 'provisional effect' since 2017, it still requires ratification by all EU members states, and Ireland has been one of the states not to have yet approved it. It is expected that Ireland's ratification of the agreement will be voted upon by the Dáil in the coming weeks."

Calling on TDs to back the CETA deal, Lavelle said, "Since the CETA deal came into provisional force, sales of Irish whiskey in Canada have increased a massive 44%, to 3.5 million bottles in 2019. A major contributor to this growth has been the reform of levies, known as the cost-of-service-differential, which are imposed by provincial liquor retail monopolies in Ontario and Quebec, the two most populous provinces in Canada."


"Ad-Valorum Basis"

Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey added, "The cost-of-service-differentials in Ontario and Quebec were initially changed from an ad-valorum (per value) basis to a flat charge in 2018. This particularly benefitted premium-priced Irish whiskey.

"From today, 1st April, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) have reduced their cost-of-service-differential on EU and UK spirits by 42%, while Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ) will reduce their cost of service differential on all imported spirits by 16.4% from 23rd May."

"Very Welcome"

Lavelle added, "These reductions have been very welcome in that they have allowed Irish whiskey, particularly premium Irish whiskey products, to be priced more competitively while also delivering more scope to Irish whiskey exporters to invest in enhanced promotion in Canada.

"There remains a number of outstanding discriminatory levies and mark-ups in place across Canadian provinces, but the CETA agreement offers the best path to address these outstanding matters and that's why we need Ireland to finally ratify the agreement."

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