Australia lobby calls for further cuts in wine tariffs

Ravi Dutta Mishra and Dilsha Seth

New Delhi

The Australian wine industry is demanding further tariff cuts ahead of India-Australia talks for a comprehensive free trade agreement next month.

Experts believe that talks on alcoholic beverages with Australia could be a blueprint for future deals with other developed countries such as the UK.

A consortium representing 2,500 Australian winemakers said its members are looking at further cuts in import duties in the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) talks.

The Australian wine industry has been under pressure ever since China increased its duty on Australian wines by more than 200% in 2020. “A strong collaborative relationship improves our ability to advocate for policy, technical and regulatory reforms as well as support for a further reduction in import duties under the next negotiating round for CECA,” said Australia’s Winegrape and Wine Producers. National Association said.

For the first time, India reduced the duty on alcoholic beverages in an FTA, and upon implementation of the deal reduced the duty on Australian wines from 150% to 100% with a minimum of $5 per bottle and to 50% in subsequent 10 years. agreed to do. , For bottles over $15, the fee will be reduced from 150% to 75%, and subsequently, to 25% over 10 years.

“Australia looks forward to resuming negotiations on a full Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with India at the earliest. At CECA, we will seek to build on the results of the Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement in Goods and Services, and include cross-cutting issues such as digital trade and new areas of cooperation,” said an Australian High Commission spokesperson.

Queries sent to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry on Monday remained unanswered at press time

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