Cider Australia statement for ABC Radio

23 Apr 2013

Cider Australia is the industry body that represents the cider industry in Australia, including growers, producers and manufacturers, with a view to presenting a position on external issues that affect our industry. It is a member based volunteer body established 18 months ago to represent the view point of its members, reflecting the growth of the category.

Cider Australia has significant concerns in relation to the push for change to cider taxation, the Distilled Spirits Industry Council of Australia’s (DSICA) tax proposal would destroy a local industry that is creating jobs in regional communities in the Australian agriculture and manufacturing sector.

The following is a brief summary of Cider Australia’s Policy in respect to Tax on Cider:

Currently, Australian Traditional cider is taxed similar to wine, on its value under the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) – levied at 29 per cent on traditional cider and wine. The tax is paid on the value of the wine at the last wholesale sale price.

Traditional Cider is essentially a fruit wine fermented from apples. Therefore it is inappropriate to make any distinction between grape based wine and cider. It is for this reason that Cider Australia advocates that cider continues to be taxed under the existing WET provisions. Any attempt to class Cider as an RTD fails to understand the true nature of the product.

Cider Australia Tax Policy is in line with the policy of the Winemakers Federation of Australia. Specifically:

  • No overall increase on total revenue from the cider sector.
  • Reform of the WET rebate to remove unintended recipients and alleviate unintended consequences of the system that are distorting supply decisions.
  • No use of tax or artificial minimum pricing measures as a lever for health reform, as non-price measures better target hazardous consumption.
  • Maintenance of the differential tax rates for wine, beer and spirits to reflect the significant differences between cider / wine and other forms of alcohol.

Further, Cider Australia proposes that if any changes are made to the current WET scheme, then Australian produced Traditional Cider should continue to be taxed in line with Australian produced wine. This is the logical position for an industry that mirrors the wine industry from growers, producers and manufacturers through to sales and distribution.

Yours Sincerely

James Kendell


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