Wine paperwork scrapped

The government has agreed to scrap wine-specific paperwork on imports from across the globe.

Pub and bar operators raised a glass over the weekend, after the government agreed to scrap wine-specific paperwork on imports from across the globe.

The historic removal of this unnecessary red tape, campaigned for by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), will mean on-trade venues and the UK’s 33m wine consumers will be able to continue to enjoy a vast range of imported wines without additional costs.

Following the Brexit referendum, the WSTA started a campaign calling for government to do away with the time consuming and costly VI-1 forms on imported wine. 

After leaving the EU, the government was warned that the introduction of the new forms and laboratory test demands would have brought wine imports from the EU to a standstill and cost the industry approximately £70m. The decision to scrap all wine import certificates, not just those for EU wine, will see savings of approximately £100m.   

Number crunching grapes

Defra’s announcement that wine-specific VI-1 forms will now not be required for imports from the EU and beyond will be huge boost for producers, importers and on-trade retailers - 99% of wine consumed in the UK is imported, with 55% of that coming from the EU.

The UK wine industry contributes around £11bn every year in economic activity and employs 130,000 people across the supply chain. The scrapping of these tariffs will prevent the price of a bottle of wine increasing by around 13p.

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.

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