“These latest reductions come on foot of audits carried out at the request of the EU under the terms of the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement and will open up new opportunities for Irish whiskey brands,” said Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey Head William Lavelle.
Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey has now 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 member states. But Ireland has yet to approved it. It’s expected that Ireland’s ratification of the agreement will be voted on by the Dáil in the coming weeks.
“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,” stated William Lavelle in calling on TDs to back the CETA deal, “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 Québec, the two most populous provinces in Canada.”
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.
However, the Liquor Control Board of Ontario has reduced its cost-of-service-differential on EU and UK spirits by 42% from the 1st of April while Société des alcools du Québec is to reduce its cost-of-service-differential on all imported spirits by 16.4% from the 23rd of May.
“These reductions have been very welcome in that they’ve 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,” added William Lavelle, “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.”