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What Licences Do I Need to Import Wine?

By: Dave Howell - Updated: 28 Jun 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Import Wine Import Regulations Vat

Q.

My father-in-law is interested in setting up a business with me where I would import wine from the Ukraine to the UK for sale to retail superstores.

I would just like to know what licenses or any other information that is relevant for this business venture. I have visited the HRC site but found very little information on this specific matter.

(C.G, 2 February 2009)

A.

Importing wine into the UK will mean you must be aware of, and comply with a range of legislation. As wine is defined as a foodstuff, the import regulations you will need to comply with relate to food labelling, tariffs, and your products safety. Also, as the Ukraine is outside of the European Union (EU), you may require additional import licences that wouldn’t apply if you were importing from an EU member state. Lastly, you will also have to comply with tax regulations that include VAT and import duties if these apply to your specific products.

Your first port of call should be the Food Standards Agency (FSA). They will be able to give you detailed information about food labelling regulations that your wine imports must comply with. The FSA have a Wine Standards Inspector that can give you specific responses to any detailed questions you may have. Consult the FSA website for your regional inspector’s contact details. The FSA website also contains a handy guide to wine law that sets out the legislation your import business should be aware of.

You should also consult the BERR website as contains information about weights and measures that will impact on your wine imports. Your labels must display certain information by law including the weight and volume of the wine.

As you are intending to sell to the retail trade, you may also require a licence as you hinted at in your question. Your Local Authority Trading Standards department will be able to advise you about this aspect of your wine import business. A retail licence is not the same as an import licence that you will need if you intend to import more than 3,000 litres of wine into the UK from a country outside of the UK. The licence is issued by the Rural Payments Agency. You can visit their website or call them on: 0191 226 5066.

Because you are importing your wine from a none EU country, you must have appropriate documentation that shows your consignments country of origin. You do this by completing form VI1. You may also need the VI2 form that is a subsection of the VI1 form. The VI2 shows how any consignment you divide into separate packages travels across EU boundaries. A Certificate of Origin may also be required to accompany your consignments. The FSA can give you more information and a decision on whether a Certificate of Origin is needed. Lastly, you may need a AAD (Administrative Accompanying Document) if you are bringing wine into the UK with any duty suspension attached to it. Consult HMRC for more information about this point.

As wine attracts duty it is important that you have correct information about your consignments and how Customs treat the particular wine you are importing. The Tariff gives details about how your consignments are defined when it comes to any duty you have to pay. HMRC have detailed information about the Tariff that you should consult. If the wine you are importing from Ukraine is organic, you may also need a certificate that support this statement. Defra has a section on its website that covers the importation of organic produce.

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Wazza - Your Question:
Hi, I am looking into importing kegs of frizzante from Italy, the kegs are 24 litres & there are 42 kegs on a pallet, where do I start the process, all very confusing on the websites, a y help would be much appreciated, Ciao Warren

Our Response:
We're not sure what information you're asking for really. Since Italy is in the EU, we hope this government page is useful
YourSmallBusiness - 29-Jun-17 @ 12:41 PM
Hi, I am looking into importing kegs of frizzante from Italy, the kegs are 24 litres & there are 42 kegs on a pallet, where do I start the process, all very confusing on the websites, a y help would be much appreciated, Ciao Warren
Wazza - 28-Jun-17 @ 2:26 PM
BOR - Your Question:
Hi,I would like to import wine from the EU to sell in the UK. We have a vineyard over there but have expert help from a bigger winery who bottle it etc for us as they export to others. We have registered fro VAT but getting a bit lost in all the other paperwork. Why doesn't someone pull together a step by step pack with all the paperwork or is there a company that provides a service to do the paperwork for you?

Our Response:
An accountant should be able to do this for you (they will charge of course). Some voluntary organisations will also help (start with the Citizens' Advice Bureau). Some companies also offer a template/package for a more reasonable fee than perhaps an accountant...try the search term "business help with VAT registration" and you'll get a lot of results. Another thing to try would be your local authority, they provide, or can put you in touch with (often free) business help. For example, we tried "business help Cheshire" as an internet search and both our LAs, Cheshire East and Cheshire West & Chester, provide resources and links to same.
YourSmallBusiness - 6-Feb-17 @ 11:16 AM
Hi, I would like to import wine from the EU to sell in the UK. We have a vineyard over there but have expert help from a bigger winery who bottle it etc for us as they export to others. We have registered fro VAT but getting a bit lost in all the other paperwork. Why doesn't someone pull together a step by step pack with all the paperwork or is there a company that provides a service to do the paperwork for you?
BOR - 3-Feb-17 @ 12:56 PM
Hi, I wish to import wine from Bulgaria-400 bottles and resale in UK How much is the import duty. Many Thanks
Bina - 4-Sep-16 @ 5:03 PM
I would like to import wines from a French wine warehouse for resale in the UK.Can you tell me how difficult it is and what procedures need to be followed.I would like to hand pick and collect them myself. Thank you in advance for your help.
Murphy - 11-Apr-16 @ 10:27 PM
@Kellie. Here is the government information on importing wine, the regulations regarding labellling, ingredients etc and the licensing requirements: Wine Trade Regulations
YourSmallBusiness - 14-May-15 @ 12:51 PM
Hello, could you please give us some advise?We would like to import prosecco from Italy into the uk for resale.How do we get a license and what are the regulations? Many thanks
Kellie - 10-May-15 @ 1:42 PM
Importing wine from Portugal to uk, below 3,000 litres. What licenses do I require?
LIL - 23-Apr-15 @ 1:17 PM
@Erico. If you're importing for commercial purposes all the information you need is on this Government webpage
YourSmallBusiness - 8-Apr-15 @ 9:37 AM
hello just like Maggie, I will like to import less than 3000 litter of wine from France what whet should I start? Any license require? Is there any transport requirement or can I use any shipping company? How do I pay the £1.80 duty? Thanks to all for you great advise
Erico - 4-Apr-15 @ 8:53 AM
i want to be importing wine from any part of Europe to Nigeria, how much will it cost and what kind of licences do i need?
4real - 17-Sep-14 @ 10:57 AM
I am from italy.now living in london.i need import wine italy to uk.i need bring licence.how can do.i need to papay custom fees.can i give full information.thank
manilka - 7-Sep-14 @ 10:17 PM
Hello, my partner is re-locating from Italy to Uk, and we want to bring his 300 bottles of Wine and Champagne to become our private wine collection here in Scotland. Given that we will never sell the wine as in a business transaction. What paperwork do we need to get the ball rolling?Thanks
elejoh - 21-Jun-14 @ 5:36 PM
Importing wine from Portugal to uk, below 3,000 litres. What licenses do I require?
rob - 4-Nov-13 @ 3:57 AM
i would like to import wine from italy to uk. What licence do i need. how much will the company formation cost. how do i form the company. i will be bringing more than 3000 litres in. Is there a business consultant who could do all this process for me as i would like it formed asap. Thank you
ed - 31-Aug-12 @ 4:03 PM
I wish to import under 3,000 litres of wine from France to UK - where would I start as I want everything above board? Where is my first point for correct paperwork and procedures. Thank you.
Meggie - 25-Aug-12 @ 2:31 PM
i want to import only wines from portugal,no other drinks or food. what type of license do I need ,and where do I go?
SANCHO - 4-Aug-12 @ 4:42 PM
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