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Irish Whiskey Industry Welcomes Reductions In Canadian Spirits Levies

By Donna Ahern
Irish Whiskey Industry Welcomes Reductions In Canadian Spirits Levies

Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey has welcomed the news that the Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Canada will reduce its levies on EU and UK spirits by 42%, which comes into immediate effect.

The group also announced that the Canadian province Québec is due to reduce its levies on imported spirits by 16.4% effective from 23 May 2020.

“These latest reductions come on foot of audits carried out at the request of the EU under the terms of the CETA agreement, and will open up new opportunities for Irish whiskey brands,” commented William Lavelle, head of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey. 

CETA Ratification

EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) deal has been in ‘provisional effect’ since 2017 and it still requires ratification by all EU member states.

It is expected that Ireland’s ratification of the agreement will be voted upon 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, head of Drinks Ireland|Irish Whiskey. 

"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 Quebec, the two most populous provinces in Canada,” added Lavelle.

Initial Changes 

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, the group said. 

Lavelle stated, “These reductions have been very welcome in that they have 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.

“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,” he added.

© 2021 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Donna Ahern. Click sign up to subscribe to Checkout.

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