Problematic legislative definition of whiskey settled

17/ 05/ 2019

On May 16, 2019 during the consideration of the Draft Law on Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine in connection with the adoption of the Law of Ukraine “On Electronic Trust Services”, the issue of the definition of whiskey was finally settled.

The draft law removed the definition of whiskey which did not meet international requirements, and parliamentarians voted for the bill in this wording. This means that the threat that world-known whiskey brands whose strength exceeds 45% would be considered inadequate has been eliminated.

Christina Linichenko The EBA Wine&Spirits Committee Manager
Business has repeatedly highlighted this issue. After all, in Europe regulates only the lower limit of strength of alcohol, but in Ukraine there was an initiative to establish an upper limit. This could have led to the disappearance of the lion’s share of whiskey from the counter and difficulties in international trade as the inscription on a bottle of foreign whiskey would meet international standards but not be in line with Ukrainian legislation.

These amendments to the Tax Code were to come into force on July 1, 2019 (the Law on Amendments to the Tax Code of Ukraine and certain other legislative acts of Ukraine on improving the administration and revision of the rates of certain taxes and duties). That’s why the business community has called for the definition of “whiskey” to be in line with EU norms and to remove the upper limit of alcohol content, or increase it to 70%.

Business stressed the need for changes by July 1, 2019.

We thank Ms Nina Yuzhaninа, Mr Mikhail Kobtsev, the Verkhovna Rada and the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Tax and Customs Policy, the European Union Delegation to Ukraine, the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Ukraine, the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and the Ministry of Finance for their cooperation.

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