Scotland: DRS drinks margins fears
Industry leaders expressed concerns that 'alcohol producers will exploit this loophole'
Minimum unit pricing in Scotland raised alcohol prices, but cross-border transport of goods prevented suppliers from taking a share of this margin growth.
However, newly published plans for DRS ban everyone but suppliers from registering lines as DRS-compliant, giving manufacturers the ability to create Scotland-only lines and restrict cross-border sales.
SGF head of public affairs John Lee said: “This is a problem. I imagine alcohol producers will exploit this loophole.”
The ban on anybody but the supplier registering products would also damage the market for imported soft drinks.
Most of these lines are imported without the knowledge of the manufacturer, but unless overseas suppliers sign up their lines, the current legislation would make them illegal to sell.
Experts also warned the cost for small drinks suppliers in registering their products under the scheme would harm competition with larger players after DRS is introduced in July 2022.
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