Drinks Ireland has welcomed the announcement that the UK government has agreed to a continuity trade agreement with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique.
Drinks Ireland said that the new UK trade deal guarantees zero tariffs post-Brexit for Northern Irish exports of Irish whiskey to Southern Africa.
William Lavelle, head of Drinks Ireland, met with officials of the continuity trade agreement team in the UK in Whitehall in London.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
Lavelle emphasised that South Africa is currently the fifth largest export market for Irish whiskey while sub-Saharan Africa is proving to be a major growth region for our category.
Lavelle explained, "Thanks to the existing EU agreement with the Southern African Customs Union, there are currently zero tariffs on Irish whiskey exports to South Africa and other markets in the union.
"We have been campaigning to ensure that zero tariffs will continue to apply to Northern Irish exports of Irish whiskey to all global markets post-Brexit.
"Today's announcement of a UK continuity trade agreement with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique helps secure that goal."
A tariff of 154 cents per litre would have applied to Northern Irish whiskey exports to South Africa post-Brexit, had the agreement not been put in place.
This tariff would have been multiplied by subsequent pro-rata addition of excise, taxes and margins, Drinks Ireland revealed.
"We continue to lobby for the most seamless possible Brexit," Lavelle continued. "We don't want a two-tier Irish whiskey industry on the island of Ireland, with one jurisdiction having better trading conditions than the other."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Aidan O'Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.