The European Wine Companies reject the attempts to impose a 5%-tax on wines in the Canary Islands.
Brussels, 11th June 2014 – The European Committee of Wine Companies (CEEV) denounces a Commission’s proposal for a Council Decision on the local AIEM tax attempting to authorize the regional government to impose a 5%-tax for all wines (CN2204) either bottled or in bulk, shipped to the Canary Islands. If approved by the Council of Ministers this new tax could enter into force on 1st July 2014 till 2020, and would penalize the shipments of wines to the Canary Islands from the rest of Spain, as well as from any other EU Member State.
This proposal will be on the table of the Council of Ministers for imminent decision before the end of June.
CEEV considers that any attempt to approve and effectively apply such AIEM tax to wines would be absolutely unjustified as none of the arguments supporting this tax, related to structural handicaps for the domestic industry linked to insularity, applies to wines. Actually, AIEM tax force has never been applied to wines before.
“The attempt to extend the AIEM tax to wines in the Canary Islands would be a clearly unjustified, discriminatory and protectionist barrier incompatible with fundamental rules of the EU Treaty”- declared José Ramon Fernandez, Secretary General of CEEV. ”Beyond being a blatant distortion of competition in the internal market, this measure would be in clear contradiction with the goals of the EU Trade and Agricultural policies for the EU wine sector, and would send an extremely negative sign of trade protectionism to Third countries partners in a number of mature and new markets at a time when the sustainable development of the wine sector and business in Europe requires more than ever the smooth development of our European wine exports”.
Note to editors - Background
The Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV – www.ceev.eu represents the wine companies in the industry and trade in the European Union: still wines, sparkling wines, liqueur wines, aromatised wines and other vine products. It brings together 24 national organisations. With more than 7.000 companies, mainly SMEs, and more than 200.000 direct jobs in the EU, its members produce and market the vast majority of quality European wines, with and without a geographical indication, and account for over 90% of European wine exports. In 2013, with around 8,9 billion € worth of exports, the wine sector made a contribution of over 6,5 billion € to the EU trade balance.
The Draft Council Decision on AIEM on the AIEM Tax applicable in Canary Islands (COM(2014)0171) foresees the renewal of an EU authorization to the possibility of the application by the Canary Island authorities of a tax to a list of products for which exemptions for local products may be allowed. The difference between the taxation of locally manufactured products and the taxation of other products may not exceed 5, 15 or 25 percentage points, depending on the product – 5 in the case of wines. The maximum exemptions that may be applied to the industrial products in question vary depending on sector and product, from 5 % (in the case of wine) to 15 %. While wine has not been in the list of products concerned, the proposal includes now wines among the products that would be eligible for taxation.