Vaccine row ‘proves' Brexiteers made right call says Daubney
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After June 30 this year, people will be required to fill out VI-1 forms on wine imports from the EU. This has sparked fury that bottles of wine could get stuck at the borders as customs officials will be required to stamp it before goods are allowed to move. Wine importer and wholesaler Daniel Lambert shared his concern that EU exporters could look for business elsewhere over the new checks when shipping to the UK.
This could mean shops may sell more wine from countries outside the EU, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, US, Chile or Argentina.
Mr Lambert told BBC Newsnight: “We are already finding since Brexit that very few producers actually know what it is they need to do.
“That’s the fundamental problem.
“If you give them a problem they are less inclined to want to export to that particular market.”
He added the new rules could be a mistake as “the UK is an international hub” for wine.
Under the new requirements, each different type of wine in a consignment must have its own form listing all details of its contents.
Mr Lambert also told Business Live the intricacies of the forms has resulted in his company being unable to currently import wine from the EU.
He added it took him nearly three weeks to get the correct forms in place before EU producers could start shipping to him again.
He said: “Bearing in mind pre-Brexit I paid nothing on EU customs declarations and now that bill is over £150 per consignment, this cost is going to be passed on.
“But secondly the shortage of trucks willing to make the journey is also putting huge pressure on the supply chain.
“I now hope, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, to start seeing stock from early February.”
The forms are expected to be a blow for the UK’s wine industry as data from Statista showed France and Italy were the top two countries of origin for wine imported into the UK last year.
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During 2020, the import value from the top five countries of origin came to approximately £2.18 billion, with £733 million coming from France alone.
A statement from Statista explained: “Imports of wine to the UK predominantly came from the European Union.
“Other countries in Western and Eastern Europe only had a minor share of UK wine imports.
“Besides Australia and Oceania one other region supplied imports of a notable size.
“With over 286 million worth of wine Latin America supplied more wine than any single country except for France and Italy.”
Miles Beale from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association added traders were hoping the forms could be scrapped.
He said: “We’d like to see no new form electronic or otherwise introduced on the July 1 and the Government could go further and abolish all VI-1 forms that it requires from wine coming from outside the EU as well.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Environmental, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We are confident that these arrangements will not add to the cost of wine for consumers.
“We continue to work closely with the wine sector to understand any trade challenges they face.”
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