BBC: “Georgian winemakers ready to toast end of EU tariffs”

Wine is made by thousands of producers in Georgia, from farmers to modern wineries. Photo by N.Alavidze/, Dec 01, 2014, Tbilisi, Georgia

Winemakers in Georgia are expecting to reap the benefits of a free trade agreement between Georgia and the European Union (EU), by selling more wine which will inevitably boost the quality of Georgian wine as winemakers compete with wine from other countries.

An article published on the BBC website’s business section, sees Paul Brian explore the benefits of the Georgia-EU trade deal, which was signed in June.

"The deal means that from September 1, 2014, Georgian produce and products which meet EU standards will no longer be liable for tariffs when imported by EU member states,” he writes.

The NWA calculates that EU importers of its wine had to pay a total 367,823 euros ($488,109; £294,421) in tariffs last year, which will soon be removed.”

Together Georgia’s thousands of winemakers typically produced more than 100 million bottles a year. For these people, the opening of the EU market will also give them a stronger insurance policy against any future problems with their largest export market - Russia.

Despite Russia again importing Georgian wine in vast quantities after the 2006-2013 embargo - 17 million bottles in the first six months of this year - Georgia wants to build up other markets.

The article also discusses the benefits and challenges facing Georgian producers of other products as they worked to enter the EU market.

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