Non-alcoholic Beer to face 28% GST, 12% Cess- AAR

The Karnataka bench of the GST-Authority for Advance Rulings (AAR) has held that a non-alcoholic malt drink will be classified as ‘carbonated beverages of fruit drink’ and would be subject to a goods and services tax (GST) at 28% along with cess of 12%.

In this case, United Breweries (UB) had submitted that its drink Kingfisher Radler was launched in 2018 as an alternative to alcoholic beer and sweetened aerated water. The product replicates the ingredients, taste, feel and packaging of beer. Non-alcoholic malts are agri-based products containing barley malt and substantially lesser sugar. While beer contains 1. 2% to 8% alcohol by volume (ABV), non-alcoholic malt has 0% ABV. UB added that non-alcoholic malts are classified as non-alcoholic beer and are liable to GST at 18% rate.

The AAR bench stated that the drink was nothing but a carbonated beverage.