New trade rules agreed by MEPs have been welcomed by the Scotch industry. The new regulations will allow for the cheaper importation of whisky into key areas across the world.
Notably, the EU approval should see exports to countries in Latin America improve, with the elimination of 9 per cent and 15 per cent tariff on exports to Peru and Colombia respectively.
Exports to Central America should also see a lift. Tariffs currently in place with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will also be eliminated under the new agreements.
Welcoming the news, the Scotch Whisky Association’s David Williamson said:
“We have been pushing hard in favour of these trade agreements with Central America, Peru and Colombia. The agreements will help deliver a more predictable and level playing field for Scotch whisky producers.”
The deal will also see greater protection of the product, the SWA’s deputy director of international affairs continuing:
“Tariff elimination, new mechanisms to tackle discriminatory taxes and better legal protection for Scotch whisky will all support industry growth in the region, and therefore the UK economy which is looking for an export-led recovery.”
The whisky industry has shown great resilience throughout the economic downturn, whilst many of its firms have actually taken advantage of the climate to grow.
For example, many have financed mergers and takeovers with the help of Glasgow and Edinburgh factoring companies. Scotland has also seen debt levels be aggressively reduced, providing a great foundation for the future.
All tariff eliminations will be brought into effect over the next decade.