GENEVA (AP) -- The European Union filed a formal complaint against India at the World Trade Organization on Monday, disputing the Asian nation's tariffs on wine and spirits.
The EU last year halted a similar WTO investigation after New Delhi revoked the additional duties it charged on wine and spirits -- up to 550 percent in some cases -- which the EU and the United States challenged at the Geneva-based trade referee.
"These new consultations will seek clarifications from India on the way tax legislation and other measures on market access for wine and spirits are applied in states such as Goa, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu," the EU said in a statement.
The 27-nation body said it formally requested consultations with India over the issue -- the required procedure before the case can be taken to dispute settlement proceedings.
The Indian mission to the WTO in Geneva was unavailable immediately for comment.
The European Union noted that India imposes a 150 percent duty on imported bottled wines and spirits. "Discriminatory internal taxation in some Indian states adds further to this burden for importers," it said.
The EU complained that the tariffs represent unfair trade barriers that keep foreign countries from competing in the Indian market.
India is one of the world's largest markets for alcohol, with a huge potential for growth, but imports account for a meager share of total consumption.