Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Govt delays VI-1 wine certification by six months

Published:  25 March, 2021

The government has delayed the VI-1 wine certification for wine imported to the UK from the EU by six months. 

The certification, which was due to come into force 1 July, is now set to be required from 31 December, 2021. 

The delay follows an infuriated wine trade having delivered an ‘unprecedented’ collective letter to Victoria Prentis MP, calling for the scrapping of VI-1 forms last month, and campaigning wine importer Daniel Lambert and the WSTA’s Miles Beale adding further momentum to the call during an appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme last week.

Welcoming the delay, Beale said it would come as a “huge relief” to the UK wine sector and its 130,000 employees. 

This is something the WSTA has been calling for to avoid wine price hikes, permanently disrupted supply and drastically reduced consumer choice from July. 

"The WSTA has campaigned hard to make clear to government that introducing wine import certificates would be damaging for our industry, especially its huge number of SMEs,” he said.

However, Beale warned that the battle was far from over. 

“A delay is merely kicking the can down the road – yet again. Instead of prevaricating, ministers should be seizing this opportunity to help boost the UK wine sector, promote free trade and get a better deal for British wine businesses and consumers.”

He went on to say that "if we can do without these certificates for a year, then scrapping these unnecessary, EU-style rules and reducing red tape must be the right decision”.

The WSTA has also previously flagged an apparent lack of response or engagement from government over the additional burdens faced by the trade in the post-Brexit world, including VI-1s. 

“What the WSTA would “really like to do – as it has been asking for months now, is to work with government to scrap the certificates while ensuring sufficient traceability is maintained”, said Beale.

“Indeed, this would bring the rules for wine in line with all other alcoholic drinks products.

“It would also be an excellent first step towards abolishing all existing wine import red tape. This would ensure that Britain maintains its position as the central wine hub for the rest of the world – and would help substantiate this government’s Global Britain ambitions.”