The challenges of Greek distillery and distillery

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The challenges faced by the Greek distillery and distillery, were at the center of an online conference recently organized by the Association of Greek Producers of Alcoholic Spirits (SEAOP).

According to a relevant announcement, at the beginning of the meeting, the president of SEAOP, Nikos Kalogiannis, referred to the role of SEAOP which is the representative body of small and large companies in the spirits industry. One of the most extroverted industries, as over 75% of the production of alcoholic beverages and spirits is exported to other countries. He stressed the spread of the Greekness of spirits worldwide and the urgent need to support export companies.

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The Governor of the Independent Public Expenditure Authority, George Pitsilis, addressed a greeting, stating that daily struggles are carried out by the services of AADE for the protection of public revenues, the health of consumers, but also the reduction of smuggling. In particular, he noted the increase in revenue in the first five months of 2022, both from the Excise Tax on alcohol and alcoholic beverages by 35%, and the VAT on these items by 40%, as well as the execution (in the first five months of 2022) about 5,000 audits with a certificate of over 1.2 million euros, in taxes and fines. Regarding Lotify, he said that the completion of the donation is already in the final phase, acknowledging the good cooperation of private entities and services. He also announced that in cooperation with the government, a legal framework is being prepared that will provide for the disclosure of the data of companies that distribute adulterated beverages.

The Secretary General of SEAOP, Haris Mavrakis, congratulated AADE for the establishment of the Coordinating Operations Center against Smuggling (SEK) and pointed out that the communication and cooperation with the competent authorities is very constructive, of course there are areas for improvement on issues market. He referred to the need to issue a decision specifically for distilleries, which will extend the deadline for titration of their tanks (as is already the case for distilleries) as the whole framework for titration of alcohol and beverage tanks is under review. He stressed the need to create a committee of spirits that will examine and suggest the issues of the industry as a whole. He stressed that the EFC is particularly high not only in relation to the EU average, but also in relation to neighboring countries that compete in tourism, as well as in the law on the reduction of smuggling and the necessary regulations that must be during its implementation. He expressed concern about Lotify and noted that companies in the industry are already being asked to fill in data on different platforms – something that carries risks of error. At the same time, he invited and urged the authorities to cooperate with the producers in the issues of the domestic market, in order to achieve the healthy and legal entrepreneurship of the sector for the benefit of all.

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For his part, Costas Raptis, vice president of the Association, after stating that he hopes to determine the nature of the distillation for another case other than ouzo (gin, extraction, etc.) also highlighted the issues of modernizing the legal framework for aging and functional and cost good practice of volumetric measurements. He pointed out that the aging control process for a distillery becomes practically impossible based on the current data and constitutes a clear violation of equality of competition to the detriment of domestic producers. He also referred to the extroversion of the industry, while emphasizing that the large volume of exports is not enough, but the added value should be correspondingly increased. Referring to the volumetric measurement of the tanks of distilleries and distilleries and the frequent re-inspection, which has a high cost for businesses, he stressed that it is practically of little importance, because the daily charge and credit to them is carried out by weighing and filling bottles respectively. He explained that in practice, it is worth re-titrating, only in cases of movement or other identified intervention of the specific tank.

Special mention was made by representatives of SEAOP in the proposals of the sector and in particular:

– Adjustment of the Excise Tax on alcoholic beverages to the EU average, bringing the ratio of taxation to the income of Greek citizens more proportionate.

– Clarity of the distillation regime of two-day distillers. Adoption of a legal framework that will set specific rules in relation to their operation and the distribution of their products. Provision of obligations, similar to those applicable to systematic distillers. Detection of illegal and imposition of sanctions.

– Reduction of VAT on catering to 6%, in order, among other things, to limit sales without receipts.

– Simplification of the bureaucratic structure of the requirements of digital functions.

– Modernization and simplification of the legal framework of production.

– Immediate processing of export declarations from the port of Piraeus to return the guarantees. Existing delays create obstacles to export growth.

– Extension of the time of payment of VAT and VAT at the customs and possibility of partial payment, as they are in any case covered by letters of guarantee.

Source: Capital

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