Beer producers appeal to Europe over “tax discrimination”

Portuguese beer producers are outraged over the “disparity of taxes charged to the beer and wine sectors in Portugal” and have announced that they will present a formal complaint against the Portuguese government at the European Court in March.

The situation has been described as “fiscal discrimination” by João Abecasis, the president of the Association of Portuguese Beer Producers (APCV).

“The amount of government support the beer sector receives is residual compared to the wine sector,” he said, highlighting that beer producers now have to pay 3% more IEC – a tax charged on alcoholic beverages – while the wine sector is exempt.

Beer producers also face “a 23% IVA (VAT) rate while it is placed at 13% for wine”.

Abecasis, also the president of national drinks company Unicer, says that the association has already presented its case to parliamentary groups as well as to the Ministries of Finance and Economy, “but nothing has been done”.

Even so, recent data from the APCV shows that Portuguese beer production increased 0.7% in 2014 – with exports rising 4.6%.

“It’s a sign of the sector’s resilience,” the president of the association said.