Export Market Guide - United Kingdom

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All regulatory information for exporting wine goods to the United Kingdom including the regulatory environment, duties and taxes, and permitted additives.

The UK became a member of the European Union on 1 January 1973 at the same time as Denmark and the Republic of Ireland. On 23 June 2016, a referendum was held in the UK on the country’s membership of the EU. The result was 51.9% in support of an exit and 48.1% to remain.

On 29 March 2017, the UK formally triggered its exit process from the EU. It now has up to two years to negotiate and conclude an agreement with the EU on the arrangements for its withdrawal. In the meantime, all trading arrangements between the UK, the EU, and third countries are unchanged.

Member states:

England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland

Regulatory environment

The Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is the ministerial department with responsibility for overseeing laws related to wine. The Food Standards Agency is the competent authority responsible for enforcing the wine regulations at the import, bottling, UK production and wholesale distribution stages within the UK. Defra, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and local authorities are also enforcement agencies with the latter being responsible for all enforcement in the retail sector.

Australia and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (UK) launched negotiations for a free trade agreement (FTA) on 17 June 2020.

Information on Brexit for Australian wine exporters

The United Kingdom formally withdrew from the European Union on 31 January 2020. The transition period ends on 1 January 2021.

The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has confirmed that there will be a period of adjustment for all food and drink products, including wine and spirits, from the end of the Brexit transition period to 30 September 2022.

Full details can be found here: www.gov.uk/guidance/food-and-drink-labelling-changes-from-1-january-2021 

To summarise, the changes mean that:

  • Wine, spirits and other alcoholic drinks products can continue to be placed on the UK market without changes until 30 September 2022 – but from 1 October 2022 goods sold in the UK must include a UK importer, bottler or vendor address.
  • This only applies to the GB market, and does not apply to Northern Ireland. Goods sold in Northern Ireland will continue to follow EU rules for labelling (meaning the label requires either an EU or NI address).
  • There is no grace period for the EU market. Products placed on the EU market will need an EU address on the label from 1 January 2021.
  • As there is a risk in including two addresses on a label for wine on the EU market, the UK Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) recommends using only one EU bottler or importer address on wine labels destined for both the UK and the EU markets until the end of the transitional arrangements on 30 September 2022.

Whilst the European Commission has unofficially indicated that after the Brexit transition period it will be acceptable to list both a UK importer and an EU importer on labels, provided it is clear which is which and hence not misleading to the consumer, we have not received confirmation on this point. The determination of whether the presentation of importer information is misleading to the consumer is a matter that will be determined by each of the relevant Member State authorities and some may take a more dogmatic approach in their application of the rules.


Import procedures for the United Kingdom Market

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Duties and taxes for the United Kingdom market

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Labelling requirements for the United Kingdom market

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Wine standards for the United Kingdom market

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

Levy payers/exporters
Non-levy payers/exporters
Find out what you can purchase

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

Levy payers/exporters
Update your account details
Non-levy payers/exporters
Find out what you can purchase