Red tape cut to save British wine lovers £130m a year

Spanish wines will now be less expensive in the UK.

Appalled by the price of your favourite Spanish wine when you return to the UK? A new rule means it will not be as expensive the next time you visit friends and family at home.

Expats who have grown used to drinking quality Spanish wines at affordable prices here in Spain will now be able to share them with friends and family at home without paying extravagant import fees.

Ministers have pledged to cut red tape for British wine importers – saving British wine lovers up to £130m a year.

Once implemented, the change would remove the requirement for VI-1 certificates on all imports of wine into Great Britain, which means substantial savings for consumers and businesses.

Removing this measure will cut red tape and ensure importing wine to the UK is as streamlined as possible, said Food and Drink Minister Victoria Prentis.

“The British wine industry has increasingly delivered fantastic wines at great value from all around the world,” she said.

“Cutting this needless red tape will place our businesses in a stronger position internationally, as they continue to grow, while consumers can raise a glass to great wine from around the world.”

“Great Britain is already a global hub in the international wine trade, supporting many jobs across the country. Ending the requirement for import certificates will strengthen this position and is a clear benefit of now having the freedom to determine our own rules,” she added.

The move will take away a significant burden on the wine trade, the second largest in the world in value terms. Industry analysis suggests that VI-1 certificates add 10p to every bottle of imported wine, said International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena.

“It’s fantastic that the British people will no longer have to pay for unnecessary bureaucracy when they buy a bottle of wine.

“Trade is key for economic growth and levelling up the country. Through our trade deals, we are making it easier for British consumers to access top-quality products from around the world – including wines – and we are bringing down foreign trade barriers to open up even more opportunities for British businesses to succeed overseas,” he added.

In 2020, the UK imported just over £261 million worth of Spanish wines.


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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