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Excise. Cider and perry. Dispute between ministries

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The Ministry of Agriculture wants to completely abolish excise duty on cider and perry. This is also requested by the producers of these alcoholic beverages. The Ministry of Finance responds that both cider and perry currently receive preferential tax treatment. During the meeting of the parliamentary committee on agriculture, the issue of selling alcoholic beverages online was also raised.

On Tuesday, a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture was held, devoted to the situation on the market of grape wine, fruit wine, cider and perry.

Zero excise tax on cider and perry

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Czesław Siekierski referred to the issue of excise duty on cider and perry in connection with the ongoing amendment to the Excise Duty Act.

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– Currently, as part of inter-ministerial consultations, there is a draft act on excise duty, to which we have submitted comments, consisting in the complete abolition of excise duty on ciders and perry: for ciders up to 5%. vol. and quality ciders up to 8.5%. vol. (made from at least 90% apple juice), which in practice are produced by craft cideries – said Siekierski.

In turn, Deputy Minister of Finance Jarosław Neneman, present at the meeting, noted that the excise tax applicable to wine and other alcoholic products is not high – approximately PLN 1.5 per bottle. He added that small wineries use 50 percent. reliefs in this tax. However, cider and perry are currently treated preferentially; this tax has not been increased for several years – he noted. He emphasized that excise duty constitutes “several percent” of the price of a bottle of cider, so it is not a key factor for this industry.

Moreover, as Neneman noted, “excise duty has not only a fiscal aspect, but also the function of limiting the consumption of alcoholic products.”

Revenues to the state budget from excise duty

According to data from the Ministry of Finance, income from grape wine, fruit wine, cider and perry in 2023 amounted to PLN 509 million and was similar to the level of income from the previous year (PLN 507.2 million). The ministry estimates that domestic cider production, after several weaker years, is showing an increasing trend and amounts to approximately 5 million liters per year.

The abolition of excise duty is also a demand of cider and perry producers. As Jakub Nowak from the Polish Wine Council pointed out, cider and drinks that use the surplus of Polish fruit are taxed higher than beer. As he said, the excise tax on the cost of producing cider is 18%. – this is much more than in the case of beer, the production of which is cheaper.

The chairman of the agriculture committee, Mirosław Maliszewski (PSL-TD), recalled that when developing cider production, Polish fruit growers counted on the development of 100,000 tons of apples. In his opinion, it was absolutely achievable, but unfortunately it was not possible to promote ciders sufficiently, and the competition was insurmountable to cheap beer. MP Zbigniew Sosnowski (PSL-TD) drew attention to the ubiquitous advertising of beer, and Jarosław Sachajko (Kukiz-15) added that large brewing companies do not use Polish hops to produce beer.

Sale of alcohol on the Internet

During the committee meeting, the issue of selling alcoholic beverages online was raised. Currently, retail sales of such alcoholic beverages through this route are not permitted. Some MPs pointed out that this ban is not respected and large companies sell alcohol online.

According to Sachajka, the sale of alcohol over the Internet could be allowed, because the decision to purchase it is – according to him – well-thought-out. He pointed to the example of ordering wine from a favorite winery you visited while on vacation. According to the MP, such sales should be possible, but mainly through small, local factories.

Wine production in Poland

As Minister Siekierski said, in Poland the production of wine from domestic vineyards intended for sale is marginal and currently constitutes approximately 1-2 percent. production of all wine products. Nevertheless, this market is characterized by a strong upward trend, he noted.

In the wine year 2024, there were 606 registered wine growers in Poland who cultivate vines on over 900 ha. Over the last 5 years, the cultivated area has increased 2.5 times. Wine production is also growing at a similar pace – said the head of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Issues regarding the production and labeling of wine products are regulated in the Act of December 2, 2021 on wine products. Additionally, rules on (grape) wine are included in EU regulations.

Chairman Maliszewski announced that in the near future the committee will prepare a desideratum in which it will support, among others, efforts of the Ministry of Agriculture to abolish excise duty on cider and perry.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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