Campaigning in the EU
It is in Europe that much of what affects the UK beer drinker is determined. For instance, the Commission's competition division is always interested in the tied house system, reform of the UK excise duty system will require EC approval, European legislation impacts on ingredients, labelling and other such issues.
This is why CAMRA has linked up with 12 other beer organisations across Europe to form the European Beer Consumer Union (EBCU) which champions for better labelling, greater diversity of beer and lower prices across Europe.
CAMRA is particularly concerned with the current EU Directive on Excise Duty for Alcohol, which has huge implications on how the Government can levy tax on alcohol products here in the UK.
The current Directive has not been updated since 1992 and is now under consultation by the EU Commission. While CAMRA agrees with the principles of the Directive, we believe it is out of date and must be revised to give Member States greater flexibility to support the drinks industry in their own countries.
Our keys asks in a revised Directive are as follows:
- To allow Member States the opportunity to apply a lower duty rate for real ale that is sold in pubs versus that which is sold in supermarkets to help shift consumption back into pubs rather than in people's homes.
- To write into a new Directive the current duty exemption for small cider producers in the UK making less than 70 hectolitres (HL) of cider a year, and to introduce a sliding scale of duty relief for cider producers who make more than 70 HL of cider.
- To allow Member States to cut duty on low-strength real ale up to 3.5% ABV, rather than the current threshold of 2.8% ABV