Raki is among the geographical and cultural values of Turkey. It has also a significant value in economy and it is exported worldwide.
The domestic market is worth 3,2 billion USD and export market is 25,3 million USD by the year 2013. By the same year industry has created approximately a total of 2.03 billion TL special consumption duty and value added tax.
Raki by definiton can only be distilled from grapes and with aniseeds of Turkey. The geography of Turkey has significant effect on grapes and aniseeds used in distillation which provide a unique character to raki.
Raki categories is under riskThe spirits sector was under the state monopoly until the early 2000’s and has opened for private importation and production through accession efforts to EU.
Imported brands started aggressive marketing campaigns following liberalization in Turkey.
The first privately produced brand of raki was launched in 2004. In 2013, all advertising about spirits was banned by a new regulation introduced.
Through this period alcohol taxation (special consumption duty – SCT) system for spirits has also changed from ad-valorem to taxation per liter of pure alcohol by category.
The Special Consumption Tax difference between raki and other alcoholic beverages has been diminishing against raki since 2012
The Importance of Special Consumption Tax at The Consumption of Raki
The level of Special Consumption Tax (SCT) results in the detriment of consumption of raki in comparison with the other drinks.
The following table shows the applied SCT and the consumption of raki on the same timeline. By being accepted the rate of the SCT of raki as 100 units, the decreasing of relative SCT and the decline at the consumption of raki occuring in the other two categories are exactly parallel.
The consumption of raki is at great risk based on the variations of SCT.
SCT of raki should never be equalized with the other spirits.
This demand has very reasonable grounds.
- Raki is produced with 45% alcohol by volume as it contains oily extract from aniseeds. Other categories can be distilled to 37,5% alcohol by volume.
- The SCT applied to raki is 20% higher than the other spirits due to its alcohol content
- At least 65% of the alcohol used for raki production should be from grapes. On the other hand, other spirits can be distilled from raw materials such as barley, wheat, potato, sugar cane etc. which are cheaper than grapes. Raki is then put to the second distillation process with aniseeds and this process increases production costs. Raki has a disadvantage of cost due to its production costs in comparison to the other imported spirits.
- The industry of raki has obligated to struggle with manufacturers of drinks and trademarks that are recognized an internationally despite its decenory history.
- The sales of raki which is losing its taxational status is in tendency to decrease.
- Imported spirits sales are in constant growth.
Geographical Sign Registration of Raki
The application for geographic sign registration of product raki at Turkish Patent Institute was made by TSPA in 15.04.2009 and was approved.The geographic signs show and introduce a product being specific to a country, district, area, region with its definition qualities and other features.
The spirits that are not produced in Turkey and labelled as raki cannot be sold in Turkey due to geographical registration.
Often, these products are not produced to the recipe of raki and are distilled from other raw materials.
The next important and critic step is that the definition for geographic sign of raki becoming known all around the world.TSPA has been performing studies for this process.
Geographical Sign Registration of Raki
Association of Traditional Alcoholic Beverage Producers(Gisder), within Geographical Indication studies, became a member of
International Geographical Indications Network that can be briefly named as OriGIn.
As Gisder, on 7th March of 2016, our membership to OriGIn has been realized.
Our membership is based on our product whose geographical indication name is ‘rakı’ that is registered in TPE with 136 registration numbers.
By means of the membership to International Geographical Indications Network that was founded in Geneva in 2003
and conduct the geographical indication studies of 400 members from 40 countries, geopraphical indicated products will be moved into international platforms faster.
Geographical indications will be introduced effectively at local, national and international.
The other private and corporate people in Turkey that became the members of OriGIn;
Erzincan Chamber of Commerce, İzmir Resale, Aydın Resale, Erzurum Resale, Malatya Trade and Industry Chamber,
Local Products Turkey Research Network(Yücita), Turkey Union of Chambers and Commodity(TOBB) and Özener Patent.
The number of members to OriGIn is nine. It is possible to reach necessary information from the webstite of OriGIn. www.origin-gi.com