Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Red tape cut for wine imports, saving British wine lovers £130m a year

Ministers have pledged to cut red tape for British wine importers, saving British wine consumers up to £130 million a year.

Once implemented, the change would remove the requirement for VI-1 certificates on all imports of wine into Great Britain, which means substantial savings for consumers and businesses.

The move will take away a significant burden on our wine trade, the second largest in the world in value terms. Industry analysis suggests that VI-1 certificates add 10p to every bottle of imported wine.

Removing this measure will cut red tape and ensure importing wine to the Great Britain is as streamlined as possible.

Food and Drink Minister Victoria Prentis said: “Cutting this needless red tape will place our businesses in a stronger position internationally, as they continue to grow, while consumers can raise a glass to great wine from around the world.

“Great Britain is already a global hub in the international wine trade, supporting many jobs across the country. Ending the requirement for import certificates will strengthen this position and is a clear benefit of now having the freedom to determine our own rules.”

International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena said: “It’s fantastic that the British people will no longer have to pay for unnecessary bureaucracy when they buy a bottle of wine.

“Trade is key for economic growth and levelling up the country. Through our trade deals, we are making it easier for British consumers to access to top-quality products from around the world – including wine – and we are bringing down foreign trade barriers to open up even more opportunities for British businesses to succeed overseas.”

Industry analysis suggests that this move will ultimately reduce the cost of wine for consumers. This will mean that wine drinkers around the country will be able to enjoy the same high-quality products from across the world at a cheaper price – on average 10p per wine bottle imported into GB.

VI-1 certification process is currently used by the EU to certify that third country of origin wine exported or moved from GB to the EU or NI complies with EU regulations.

UK VI-1 certificates are not required for EU wine imported into GB (England, Scotland and Wales) from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said: “This is a truly historic moment for the UK’s world-leading wine trade. We have spent more than two years campaigning relentlessly to avoid the introduction of new import certificates for EU wine imports on the one hand and scrapping the unnecessary and costly VI-1 wine paperwork for on-EU wine imports on the other.

“The first would have cost the UK wine industry some £70m [annually], reduced consumer choice and bumped up prices. The second will increase those savings to over £100 million. It’s a truly fantastic outcome.

“It is heartening to know that Government trust the WSTA’s advice and are listening to the concerns of business, particularly SMEs. This is a major win for wine lovers and the UK wine industry. I am sure corks will be popping across the globe in celebration of this most welcome news.”

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