Scotch Whisky Association joins European Commission mission to Canada

28 Apr 2017

EU-Canada trade deal to benefit Scotch

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) is joining a high-level mission to Canada led by European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan. Canada is Scotch Whisky's fifteenth largest market, with exports worth around £74 million by customs value a year. The visit is an opportunity to support the efforts to increase exports to Canada for the Scotch Whisky industry.

In February, MEPs voted in favour of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) which, when implemented will bring a range of market access benefits and pave the way for further success by reducing the number of barriers to entry.

According to the SWA benefits of CETA for Scotch Whisky include:

  • Fewer internal trading restrictions;
  • A level playing field for intellectual property rights for EU products in Canada;
  • Removal of the market-distorting effects of the Canadian liquor boards. Several liquor boards are, for example, moving towards applying variable 'mark-up' structures for imported products, such as Scotch Whisky. 

The SWA says CETA will be good for the entire European distilling industry by boosting sales to Canada. Also involved in the mission with the Commission are trade bodies spiritsEUROPE and Spirits Canada. Spirits are the biggest agricultural-food export for the EU, worth about €10 billion globally a year. Scotch Whisky exports account for more than £4 billion of the total.

The SWA and spiritsEUROPE will also travel to the USA to discuss issues of relevance in that market - the biggest by value for Scotch Whisky with exports worth £865m last year.

Siobhan Sellers, Scotch Whisky Association head of Americas market access, who will be taking part in the mission, said: "We are firm believers in open markets and removing barriers to trade across the globe. This is an excellent opportunity to join European Commissioner Phil Hogan on this important mission to Canada. It is a chance for us to ensure the benefits of CETA quickly become a reality for the Scotch Whisky industry.  The market access improvements contained within CETA will contribute to the economic growth of not only the UK, but also of Europe as a whole.

"With the Scotch Whisky industry supporting 40,000 jobs in the UK and adding value of £5 billion annually, any boost from CETA would be good for the entire UK economy and export success."

"We will also take the opportunity to discuss with UK officials the need to ensure benefits obtained through EU negotiations are secured and act as a helpful benchmark to push for further trade liberalisation after Brexit.


Notes to editors

The visit to Canada and the USA is from 30 April to 5 May.

CETA is still to be ratified by the national parliaments of EU member states. Provisional application could happen by 1 July 2017. The Bill is still in the Senate in Canada.

With media enquiries and to request interviews, please contact: Rosemary Gallagher, SWA head of communications, 0131 222 9230 or 07432 605 385 or