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Find out how the SWA is helping the Scotch Whisky industry prepare for Brexit

November 2020

The Scotch Whisky industry continues to support a trade deal between the UK and the EU. The EU is an important market for Scotch Whisky and our largest export region, accounting for 30% of exports in 2019, valued at £1.47bn. UK and EU negotiators should intensify discussions to deliver a deal which allows for zero tariffs on all goods, protects UK and EU geographical indications, and puts in place governance structures to limit any new barriers to trade from forming.

The Scotch Whisky industry is well-positioned to weather any disruption brought about from Brexit, however we still want a free trade agreement to be in place to ensure the process is as seamless as possible during a challenging time for distillers. New customs and excise procedures will apply to UK/EU trade from 1st January 2021, and it is a race against time for businesses to receive all the technical guidance they need. The UK Government is putting in place new IT systems to manage data and declarations, and these must be reliable to ensure imports and exports flow smoothly.

Industry concerns about adjusting to a new trading relationship with the EU at the end of the transition period have been compounded by the ongoing impact of COVID-19 lockdowns and disruption to the hospitality trade in the UK and our global markets. The industry continues to be seriously affected by the 25% tariff on Single Malt Scotch Whisky to the United States in place since October last year, which has led to a significant decline in exports to our most valuable market of around £30m every month. Removing the tariffs will alleviate significant pressure on the Scotch Whisky industry, and allow us to focus on making the most of the UK’s new independent trade policy and playing our part in the post-COVID economic recovery.

news & commentary

15 November 2018

SWA statement on Withdrawal Agreement

Our industry has consistently called for clarity over what that UK's new relationship with the EU will look like in practice, particularly on the continued protection of geographical indications, customs procedures and future trade policy.

04 September 2018

Karen Betts Speech to Scotsman Food & Drink Conference

The water of life: how Scotland's national drink is confronting new challenges to thrive beyond Brexit

03 May 2018

Scotch Whisky looks for continued growth through Brexit

The Scotch Whisky industry's recent growth must be maintained beyond Brexit, delegates at the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) conference heard today.

23 March 2018

Scotch Whisky Association welcomes Brexit transition agreement

The Scotch Whisky Association has set out the priorities for the Scotch Whisky industry as the Brexit transition agreement is set to be approved by EU leaders.

02 March 2018

Comment on PM Brexit speech

"The Prime Minister's speech has taken us closer to the clarity which key industries like Scotch Whisky require if we are to mitigate the risks and harness the opportunities of Brexit.

15 December 2017

SWA comment on Brexit transition

SWA welcomes the clear progress made in the first phase of the Brexit negotiations

03 May 2017

Growing Scotch Whisky in a time of change

29 March 2017

SWA Article 50/Brexit statement

13 March 2017

SWA response to FM speech on independence referendum