WSTA urges tariff-free deal with Oz and NZ

26th January, 2018 by Amy Hopkins

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is calling for an end to all existing trade tariffs between the UK and Australia and New Zealand.

Australia Brexit

Australia will become even more important to wine and spirits exports after Brexit

The UK trade body submitted a document to the Trade Select Committee last week urging the government to prioritise new bilateral agreements between the countries after Brexit.

Trade tariffs currently add 10p-20p to a bottle of Australian or New Zealand still wine imported into the UK, and adds 22p to a bottle of sparkling wine. British spirits exported to the countries are in return subject to a 5% tariff.

The WSTA submitted its proposals as British prime minister Theresa May prepared to head to the World Economic Forum in Davos.

May told delegates at the forum: “The UK will continue to be a global advocate of free trade.”

Miles Beale, chief executive of the WSTA, commented: “In her speech in Davos this week the prime minister said the UK intends to be at the forefront of championing new trade deals.

“We welcome this and call on government to take the opportunity post-Brexit to enhance trade with Australia and New Zealand by removing all unnecessary regulatory barriers and allowing goods to flow more freely between the markets.

“Australian wine is the most popular wine drunk in Britain and growth of New Zealand wine sales are outpacing any other country. Australia and New Zealand import more spirits from Britain than any other country.”

In 2016, the UK exported £613m (US$873m) worth of spirits to Australia and £50m (US$71m) to New Zealand. The WSTA said that after Brexit, the UK will “need to increase exports to developed markets” such as Australia and New Zealand, since 45% of its spirits exports currently head to the EU.

The association believes that its prospective model trade agreements for wine and spirits could “become global blueprints” to be rolled out after the UK exits the European Union.

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