Council of State annuls excise tax on wine

The Council of State on Monday annulled an excise tax imposed on wine with a decision announced by the Association of Greek Wine (AGW) on Tuesday.

The AGW had filed an injunction to the country’s highest administrative court along with other associations and an individual wine producer, calling the fee of 0.208 euros per liter of domestic or imported wine “unfair and ill-founded.” Introduced in 2015, the fee added an excise tax of 0.208 euros per liter of wine.

In January 2017, then Agricultural Minister Vangelis Apostolou had told wine sector representatives that the fee would be abolished. It was “imposed under tremendous pressure” and “has not brought the expected revenues,” Apostolou had said.

The tax affected wine and sparkling wines and excluded wine produced in small quantities for family consumption.

In a letter to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in November 2015 the AGW had said the tax introduction had served to “a surge in black marketeering” and harmed legitimate wine producers.

The association “said it loud and clear from the beginning: this wine-killing fee was unfair and ill-founded. They promised it would be annulled, and we waited” long enough, AGW president Giorgos Skouras noted.