Food and Beverage Updates
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The UK government said on Sunday it was pushing some post-Brexit bureaucracy on wine imports following trade warnings that would cause lasting damage.
The move to end requirements for VI-1 import certificates, which ministers have said will save British consumers around £ 130 million a year, has been hailed by the industry.
Bureaucracy has long been a requirement of the EU that it has influenced imports from so-called third countries, such as Australia, South Africa and Argentina. The rules were intended to protect major EU wine producers from “new world” imports.
But UK and EU wine traders were shocked when London announced it would adopt the VI-1 form after leaving the blockade. This would have extended bureaucracy and costs to wines from France, Italy and Spain, causing serious warnings from the industry as to additional costs, delays and economic damage.
The EU supplies about half of the $ 4.4 billion in wine imported into the UK each year. Ministers had previously insisted that the additional post-Brexit cost would add just an average of 10p per bottle to the selling price of imported wine.
But the VI-1 is particularly problematic for it markers of fine wines, because certificates require laboratory sampling, requiring the opening of rare or expensive bottles of wine that cannot be resold.
The decision has “reset our trade agreements with the rest of the world in a way that will improve the UK’s leading position in world wine trade,” said James Miles, president and co-founder of the wine exchange Liv-ex.
Miles Beale, executive director of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, described the move as “truly historic” and hailed it as a “truly fantastic result”.
He added: “We have spent more than two years campaigning fearlessly to avoid the introduction of new import certificates for EU wine imports on the one hand and discarding unnecessary and expensive VI-1 wine documents. for imports of wine from outside the EU. ”
Victoria Prentis, UK’s food and beverage minister, said: “Cutting this unnecessary bureaucracy will put our businesses in a stronger position internationally, as they continue to grow.”
Imports of wine from the EU into Northern Ireland have not been affected by the VI-1 requirement for the status of the region in post-transition trade agreements with the EU. Imports of other wines outside the EU will be considered as part of wider discussions on the Northern Ireland protocol, the government said.