Beverage & Wine

EU-Mercosur Agreement: the Tariff Cliff

Unione Italiana Vini against barriers that prevent or slow down the development of the business of Italian wineries. And all Geographical Indications must be protected

After several years of work and discussions, the EU-Mercosur trade agreement is finally approaching its final stages. “Unfortunately, from the outcome of the last rounds of negotiations, we have learned that the proposals for concessions on tariffs for the wine sector would be extremely unsatisfactory. In fact Mercosur is proposing the elimination of tariff barriers only 15 years after the entry into force of the agreement” stressed Paolo Castelletti, Secretary General of Unione Italiana Vini – UIV (Italian Wine Union).

For this reason, the main association bringing together Italian wine producers “considers it essential that, through the approval of the deal, as a matter of priority the European Union obtains a complete elimination of duties on wine from the entry into force of the agreement. Wine must not miss this opportunity.”

ITALIAN WINE EXPORTS

According to the Wine Observatory, in 2018 Italian wine exports to Brazil amounted to about 35 million euros, with a worrying decrease of 9.2% in value and 21% in volume compared to 2017. This figure is synonymous with the difficulties encountered by Italian operators in this market, despite major investments in promotion and internationalization.

GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATIONS TO BE PROTECTED BY THE AGREEMENT

Another crucial issue is the protection of Geographical Indications. Starting with Prosecco PDO, which is used in the Mercosur countries as a variety name. UIV calls for a solution that ensures the protection of “Prosecco” name, “in order to avoid an escalation of actions aimed at usurping and using this PDO in Brazil and Argentina. This would cause considerable damage to Italian producers in those countries and in other international markets as well.”

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