The European Commission has formally requested that the UK amend an excise duty scheme that exempts from duty small producers of cider and perry.
The UK exemption covers those producers that produce not more than 70 hectoliters of cider or perry over a period of 12 consecutive months and who make such products for sale.
European Union excise duty rules oblige member states to levy an excise duty on alcohol and alcoholic beverages. There are no provisions that provide for an exception to the general obligation to levy excise duty in respect of cider and perry made for sale by small domestic producers.
The Commission’s request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer the case to the European Court of Justice.
Let’s hope the Government sees sense and helps support the small cider producers as they have the micro-breweries.