France votes tax on flavoured wines

Tuesday October 29 2019 by Vitisphere

 The French aperitif wine federation is concerned about “prohibition for the category in France”. The French aperitif wine federation is concerned about “prohibition for the category in France”. - Photo credit : FFVA

Grapefruit and white peach-flavoured rosés, among others, are the target of a recently adopted legal amendment which aims to introduce additional taxation, and has sent shock waves through the French aperitif wine federation.

This would be the first tax on French drinking habits applied to wine products”, warned Aymeric de Beauvillé, chairman of the French Federation of Aperitif Wines (FFVA), in a statement. Adopted on 15 October by the National Assembly's Social Affairs Committee and on 25 October at a first reading of the draft law on Social Security, the amendment by Senator Audrey Dufeu Schubert from Nantes includes flavoured wines in the premix tax adopted in 2004 (3 euros per decilitre of pure alcohol).

Extending premix taxation to include wine-based drinks seems essential to me, from both a public health and fair tax perspective”, claimed Audrey Dufeu Schubert at the committee meeting, specifying that she is excluding “terroir wines such as perries and cider” from the scope of the amendment; last year, a similar project was dropped because its scope was too broad-ranging. The amendment also clarifies that “wine-based premixes [are] overwhelmingly made from foreign wines and the taxation would therefore only marginally affect French producers”. Having validated the amendment, the committee's general rapporteur, Olivier Véran, said that “changes to the tax on premixes had been tabled because the market has moved on and is capitalising on the loopholes left behind, and our young people, especially young women, need to be protected”.

 

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