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MPs launch probe into the impact of wine certification

Published:  13 July, 2020

A group of MPs is today launching an inquiry into the impact of wine certification set to be brought into force at the end of the Brexit transition period on 1 January 2021.  

The Wine and Spirit All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) said it would use its platform to begin a probe into the effect of rolling over the legislation verbatim on EU wine coming into the UK.

Currently wine coming in from Europe is not subject to VI-1 checks and lab tests. Certification rules will all change, with or without a deal, when all wine imported from Europe will be subject to VI-1s.

The extra red tape is anticipated to generate over 600,000 paper forms - at least a threefold increase for wine inspectors - and cost the UK wine trade an extra £70m a year.

Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark and co-chair of the Wine and Spirit APPG, said: “It is essential that government listens to the UK wine industry’s concerns. Failing to do so will lead to price rises for importers, retailers and ultimately consumers, and could threaten the UK’s position as the global hub for wine.”

Calling for all businesses throughout the wine industry to take part in the inquiry, the WSTA said it was “extremely important that the UK wine trade takes this opportunity tell government how their businesses will be impacted by the introduction of VI-1 certification”.  

“It is entirely within the government’s gift to avoid imposing these complicated, costly and unnecessary checks. Politicians need to better understand this issue, which if it isn’t handle properly will see the UK’s world leading wine industry facing a catastrophic disruption to trade,” said CEO Miles Beale. 

The inquiry follows a Parliamentary Question last month when Victoria Prentis, under secretary of state for Defra, stated that the impact of VI-1s would be “nil or negligible”.

Businesses can take part in the inquiry by submitting evidence via the WSTA website, with the call for evidence and terms reference found here.