Carlsberg Azerbaijan: size of excise tax dictates retail prices

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 20

By Huseyn Veliyev – Trend:

The difference between the cost of locally produced beer from the price of imported products is due to the size of the excise tax, Head of Corporate Affairs function of Carlsberg Azerbaijan LLC company Nadezhda Ovsyannikova told Trend.

Azerbaijan is one of the few countries where the excise tax on imported beer differs from the excise tax on the beer produced in the country, Ovsyannikova said.

"However, this policy is clear. In fact, the excise tax on imported products is several times higher than the excise tax on local products, as a result of which local beer is cheaper than imported. I can also draw attention to the low-alcohol drink cider, the price of which, by the way, is regulated separately. Cider is in a separate category and its excise is twice higher than the excise tax on imported beer. We as a manufacturer would like to give our customers the opportunity to try such varieties, but due to the existing excise policy, this product is not available to everyone," Ovsyannikova said.

Carlsberg Azerbaijan is trying to expand the product range and provide an opportunity for its customers to taste new beer brands, Ovsyannikova noted.

"For example, we introduced several imported varieties to the market last year. I can mention among them the French beer brand "Kronenbourg" and beer of alcoholic lemonade category – “Garage”. Also we launched this year a brand of cherry beer "Karmi Cherry", apple cider - "Somersby Cider". One of the latest innovations this year is also non-alcoholic wheat beer "Baltika 0". This beer was a success in Russia, and we began to import it into Azerbaijan. One of the last brands presented by us in Azerbaijan is German beer "Holsten". It is one of the most popular brands in the world. We try, at least, to import these varieties and, if possible, to localize their production. Unfortunately, we can't manufacture all products in our factory, because this involves the use of different types of equipment. However, we do it as far as possible ", Ovsyannikova said.

As for the tax policy, it is important in this regard to maintain a stable atmosphere in the market without any shocks to business, the head of the corporate affairs function of Carlsberg Azerbaijan LLC believes.

"It is important for business to be warned in advance about some innovations, so that we would have time to change our methods of work. Constructive dialogue is also important for us. In general, we are ready to cooperate, share our experience, participate in various pilot projects", Ovsyannikova said.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @h_veliyev

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