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Scotch Whisky

Volume 172: debated on Thursday 17 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if Her Majesty's Government will continue to make representations to the Japanese Government urging them to fulfil their general agreement on tariffs and trade obligations in full with regard to liquor tax; and if he will make a statement.

Japan reformed its liquor tax last year following a GATT ruling, and Scotch whisky sales in Japan have since increased by 72 per cent. in value. We made strong representations to the Japanese Government last year about whisky lookalike products, which subsequently have not sold well. We continue to watch developments in the Japanese whisky market to ensure that the beneficial effects of the tax changes are not undermined, and will make further representations to the Japanese authorities as appropriate about any problems which arise from the remaining tax differentials.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent representations have been made to the South African Government about the legislation which prevents certain Scotch malt whiskies from being sold in South Africa.

Her Majesty's Government raised the matter with the South African Board of Trade and Industry on 17 April.