Treasury proposes lower excise duty for brandy
bdlive.co.za - Dec 18th 2015, 12:19
SA’s Treasury proposed a 10% cut in excise duties on brandy on Thursday, saying the alcoholic spirit was at a cost disadvantage to competitors due to stringent regulations on how it should be produced.
Producers of "Brandewyn", or burnt wine, have been angling for state support as the drink has lost ground to other spirits such as whisky, vodka, and gin.
The industry argues that brandy’s falling market share has hurt wine farmers and communities in Western Cape and Northern Cape provinces.
The National Treasury, which increased excise duty rate on spirits to 8.5% in February, proposed 10% lower duties for brandy, to be phased in over the next two years.
"It is proposed that a 10% lower excise duty rate (based on a litre of absolute alcohol) be introduced for brandy, to be phased in over the next two years," the Treasury said in a statement, requesting public comment.
"The proposed excise duty relief for brandy aims to level the playing field within the broader spirits." Sales have fallen to about a third of South Africa’s $1.5 billion spirit market from more than half in 1994 when trade sanctions against the country during apartheid were lifted.
"Brandewyn" was first distilled on a Dutch ship in Cape Town harbour in 1672.
Under South African rules, brandy makers, who include Distell and KWV, should use about 5l of the highest quality wine to produce 1l of brandy, which is then distilled twice in copper potstills and left to age in oaks for at least three years.
"In the absence of similarly stringent regulatory requirements for other spirits products, it is argued that brandy is currently at a regulatory and cost disadvantage compared to other spirits," the Treasury said.From DFM Publishers (Pty) Ltd
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