Ahead of the Autumn Statement on 22 November, the WSTA is carefully assessing the possibility of a second increase in alcohol duty being announced, following August’s 10.1% Retail Price Index (RPI) increase alongside the introduction of the new duty system.
While important to note that the WSTA has received no confirmation of a planned increase from Government, the current fiscal climate, and the introduction of inflation-aligned increases in August of this year, means that a further increase must be taken as a serious possibility.
Therefore, the WSTA is asking all members to utilise this amendable template to write to their local MP, regardless of previous contact or engagement. You may write to both the MP for your business/company and home address, but please ensure you have written to the MP for your business/company as a minimum.
This template letter contains the rationale for an immediate freeze to alcohol duty and includes CPIH figures for drinks categories from the Office for National Statistic’s September bulletin that show a clear inflationary impact of August’s increases. It further highlights that an increase at the Autumn Statement, aligned to a RPI figure of 8.9% would mean a cumulative duty increase of over 30% for an average-strength bottle of still wine in 6 months or less.
This briefing applies to all wine and spirit businesses that export to China and is based on the best official guidance available to WSTA at this time. This guidance is not complete and WSTA encourages members to engage on this topic with their importers in China to fully identify the steps they are required to take to avoid disruption to their exports. As further clarity is provided by Governments engaging, and from companies undertaking the process, we will aim to update our guidance.
Defra has now issued guidance on this registration process.
WSTA Trade 21: WSTA International Trade – Quick Briefing on Chinese Registration Requirements for Food Establishments from 1 January 2022
From the Autumn – as Covid restrictions recede, other areas of work return for the WSTA and face to face meetings become more usual again – three new over-arching Executive Committees have been set up by the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.
The WSTA believes that the current wine labelling regulations, which have been automatically rolled over from EU law, are not fit for purpose now the UK has left the EU Internal Market.
The UK Government now has the opportunity to simplify these prescriptive and protectionist wine labelling rules. Bringing wine labelling more in line with labelling for all other food and drink products and introducing the requirement for labelling details of a responsible business address, would benefit both enforcement bodies, consumers and UK businesses alike.
This paper seeks to identify the key issues around wine labelling and the impact of rolling over the EU’s wine rules into UK law, and offer recommendations to Government.
Removing red tape: Simplifying UK wine labelling rules
Last Updated:25May | 2021
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