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UK Government Brexit Strategy could help larger wine companies

This week the British government has finally announced what Brexit actually means. Apart from Brexit meaning Brexit, it would appear Brexit means the Hokey Cokey, with one foot in and one foot out.

The Government's position is to offer a facilitated Customs Arrangement. This means importers into the UK could acquire trusted trader status, often known in Europe as Authorised Economic Operators status: those who can meet the stringent requirements will specify where the final goods are to be sold, domestically or EU. Goods for the EU will have to pay the EU taxes to the government in the UK which will be passed onto the EU. These operators will not need to be checked by customs when being re-exported into the EU, providing a friction-less trade.

For the wine world, large companies importing wines from Europe, will pay UK taxes, and wines exported to Europe from other countries will need to be tracked and duty paid to EU countries on arrival into the UK.

Obtaining a trusted trader status will not be straightforward but larger wine companies who run bonded warehouses will probably find that their systems and history with HMRC could make things easier.