A new report just published by the Irish Wine Association (IWA) claims that Ireland has the highest excise on wine in the European Union, and calls for for a 15% alcohol excise reduction in the upcoming Budget.
The IWA's Irish Wine Market Report 2015 states that Irish importers and distributors are now paying €38,240 on excise per 1000 cases imported, adding that the Irish wine industry is now facing a 'perfect storm' as the effects of Brexit begin to be felt.
The IWA claims the Irish Government has increased excise on wine by 62% since 2012.
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The report also notes that the potential negative impact of Brexit on the industry must be considered by the Government. In particular, the weak Sterling will likely drive cross-border shopping. The implications of Brexit and Ireland’s high excise rate have created the ‘perfect storm’ for Ireland’s wine industry, says the IWA report.
It adds that Irish consumers continue to pay the highest excise on wine in the European Union with Ireland’s excise rate per standard €9 bottle equates to €3.19, more than 12% more expensive than the UK. Fourteen European countries pay no excise on a bottle of wine, it claims.
Launching the report today Sergio Soriano Cano, a Spanish Wine exporter from Grupo Barón de Ley said: "I have significant experience exporting wine from Spain to Ireland and the biggest challenge I see by far is Ireland’s crippling excise rate on wine. There is a €38,000 up front cost associated with importing 1000 cases of wine, which makes the Irish market challenging. In Spain the excise rate on wine is zero. Wine in Ireland is very expensive by EU standards, because a huge amount of the cost is taken by the Irish government. In Spain people tell me that they would love to visit Ireland but the wine is too expensive and we like to have wine with our food. I fully back the calls for an alcohol excise reduction in the Irish Governments next Budget."
Michael Foley, Chairman of the Irish Wine Association and Marketing Director at Findlater Wine & Spirits, commented: "The message coming from the wine industry today is clear: reverse excise increases and support thousands of small businesses and jobs across the industry. The Irish wine industry makes a significant contribution to Ireland’s economy, with 1,100 people directly employed by distributors and importers in Ireland with the majority of these jobs in small, family operated businesses. Thousands more jobs are supported in the 13,000 restaurants, pubs, independent off licences and hotels that sell wine. Excise on wine is totally out of line with our EU neighbours as exemplified by Sergio's comments today and needs to be addressed. In addition to high excise, the potential negative impact of Brexit is further hitting the wine industry and the drinks industry in general, in particular the weak Sterling driving cross-border shopping."