Red tape cut to reduce cost of importing wine to UK from 1 January

Legislation signed today will remove VI-1 certificates on all wine imported to Great Britain from 1st January – saving GB wine importers an estimated £130 million a year.

The UK is a major global hub of the fine wine trade. This measure is part of the government’s work to reduce unnecessary burdens on our businesses.

With the EU, which accounts for 50% of UK wine imports, set to introduce new restrictions on imports from the EU effective 1st January 2022, this legislation heads off that threat, allowing us to remove unnecessary paperwork and streamline imports.

Food and Drink Minister Victoria Prentis said:

The UK wine industry delivers high quality, great value wine from all over the world.

By removing this pointless red tape, our businesses are in a stronger and more competitive position than before.

Ending the requirement for import certificates is an important measure in supporting this vital industry, and a clear benefit of our now having the freedom to determine our own rules.

A VI-1 certificate accompanies imports of wine into GB. It provides details of the shipment of wine and a technical analysis of that wine. VI-1 certificates currently accompany imports from the rest of the world into GB but not from the EU.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), said:

This week marks the final hurdle in a two year battle to remove unnecessary and costly inherited EU red tape on wine imports.

It is an historic moment for the UK’s world-leading wine trade and will be cause for celebration for wine producers across the world.

It’s great to know that government trusts the WSTA’s advice and is listening to the concerns of business, particularly SMEs.

The change means from 1st January, all wine imported to GB will no longer require VI-1 certificates.

As well as other actions taken, such as freeze on wine duty, this measure will allow the UK to trade freely with the rest of the world, and ensure our wine sector continues to thrive.

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