Sunday 27 December 2020 12:28 pm

Wine drinkers toast Brexit deal as French clarets, German rieslings and UK sparkling wine escape regulatory burdens

Wine drinkers will have reason to celebrate at least one aspect of the Brexit deal, industry insiders say, after it emerged it will cut red tape for wine exporters and importers.

Insiders had feared that the UK’s departure would entail an additional, costly regulation – in the form of the VI-1 certificate – after the UK’s departure.

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However, that has been replaced with a far simpler import certificate, meaning the cost of a bottle on the supermarket shelf should not go up dramatically after December 31.

“Tucked away in the annexes to the agreement,” said Miles Beale, Chief Exec of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association, “there is good news for the wine sector and the UK’s 33 million wine drinkers.”

“This is a good first step towards abolishing unnecessary and costly red tape. This is not only good news for UK wine businesses but also UK consumers who won’t see wine prices rocket,” he continued.

However, the costly certificate will still be in place for UK businesses who import wine from outside the EU and then send it on to Northern Ireland or the rest of the EU.

That means importers of Australian reds based in London, who then ship across the continent, could be in line for burdensome and costly regulation.

“Businesses are still waiting on the UK Government to confirm the details necessary to complete the paperwork,” said Beale.

“With less than a week to go before businesses shipping wine to the EU will need to complete these forms, it is simply unacceptable that they are still in the dark about the forms and processes required.”

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