Maharashtra cut the duty on Scotch whisky by half

Prior to formal trade talks between the UK and India, the Indian government of Maharashtra lowered the excise duty on Scotch whisky from 300% to 150%. The Scotch whisky industry is campaigning to cut 150% of the federal tariff on imported Scotch whisky in India. The UK government has prioritized this goal in its upcoming trade talks with Indian authorities.

Maharashtra government officials said the excise cut would help curb illicit trade of Scotch whisky and other spirits from other states and double sales revenues.

Last month, SWA joined the UK government on a visit to Mumbai, Maharashtra, to engage with state and federal officials to increase Scotch whisky exports to India.

SWA international director Ian McKendrick said: “This is a step in the right direction and welcome recognition from Indian authorities that revenue can be boosted by reducing trade barriers for Scotch whisky. The industry hopes that the future UK-India trade talks can build on this progress at federal level and reduce the current 150% tariff on imported Scotch Whisky. A phased reduction in the import tariff would unlock well over £1bn of export growth for Scotch Whisky over the first five years, and have a knock on boost to state and federal revenue in India.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Lord Offord said: “I was delighted to visit Mumbai last month to promote trade links between Scotland and India, and see the great opportunities on offer for Scotch whisky exporters. This change to duty in Maharashtra is very welcome news for the industry here, and I am hopeful that the ongoing work to further reduce taxes on whisky exports to India will deliver a real boost for Scotland’s world-renowned distilleries.”


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