Wine lovers celebrate a Brexit victory over red tape
By Richard Wright | 26th July 2021
Wine-lovers in Gloucestershire will be popping their corks with glee at news that their favourite vintage may soon have a slightly cheaper price tag thanks to a post-Brexit bonus from the Government.
The scrapping of import paperwork on wine, not just from the EU but worldwide, will result in savings estimated at £100 million for the industry. That's equivalent to about 13p on each bottle of wine.
The Wine and Spirit Trade Association, which has been lobbying hard for the agreement, says it's a 'significant post-Brexit victory' for its members and for consumers.
The Government has agreed to do away with the time consuming and costly VI-1 forms on imported wine.
The removal of this red tape will mean the UK's estimated 33 million wine lovers will be able to continue to enjoy the range of imported wines without additional costs.
The decision to scrap all wine import certificates, not just those for EU wine, will save about £100m.
Defra's announcement that wine-specific VI-1 forms will now not be required for imports from the EU and beyond, is a huge boost for producers, importers and consumers - 99% of wine consumed in the UK is imported, with 55% of that coming from the EU.
The UK wine industry contributes around £11 billion every year in economic activity and employs 130,000 people across the supply chain.
If the plans to introduce VI-1s to wine coming in from the EU had come into play, imports would have required laboratory analysis - a process the WSTA estimates would have cost about £330 per shipment and may well have put off smaller producers from sending their wines to the UK reducing consumer choice.
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 non-EU wine imports on the other.
"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."
James Miles, Chairman and Managing Director (Co-Founder) at Liv-ex Ltd said:
"I cannot overstate how important today's announcement is to the UK wine industry. The WSTA and its members have been campaigning hard to stop UK officials from imposing unnecessary import regulations on the wine trade.
"Government has shown it is in tune with business by taking this once in a lifetime opportunity. By removing these unnecessary and costly non-tariff barriers to trade it has re-set our trading arrangements with the rest of the world in a way that that will enhance the UK's leading position in the global wine trade."
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