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Last Updated: Monday, 16 July 2007, 13:33 GMT 14:33 UK
EU halts WTO's India alcohol case
Whisky
India is one of the world's largest markets for alcohol
The European Union has suspended its complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) about India's import tariffs on beer, wine and spirits.

The move comes after India recently lifted duties, which hit as much as 550%, on imported alcohol including French wine and Scottish whisky.

However, the EU has expressed annoyance that India has chosen to raise its basic duty on wine from 100% to 150%.

It is unknown if the US, which made a similar WTO case, will follow suit.

The three member WTO panel investigating the EU's complaint can stay in place for up to a year while the complaint is suspended.

"The European Commission will now continue to monitor the situation on the ground to make sure that no new discriminations appear at state level," the Commission said in a statement.

The Indian Finance Ministry reduced its additional duties to between 20% and 75% on imported beer and wine and between 25% and 150% on imports of distilled spirits.

The raising of basic duty on wine to 150% is still within India's WTO limit.


SEE ALSO
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20 Nov 06 |  Business
Whyte & Mackay gets Indian offer
09 Oct 06 |  Business
No Scotch tag for Indian whisky
25 Apr 06 |  South Asia
Distillers toast market expansion
29 Dec 05 |  Scotland
Indian wine takes on the world
22 Feb 00 |  South Asia

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