We wanted to make sure all our members were up to speed with recent WSTA ‘wins’.
Last week we were pleased to welcome some good news from the Government, who have agreed to put on hold legislation which would have introduced more red tape for wine importers. Following a lot of pressure applied by the WSTA and its wine members, Defra have decided to further extend the grace period for wine import certification requirements – VI-1 forms – for EU wine heading to Great Britain by a further six months. This means there will be no costly requirements until 31 December 2021.
We continue to argue that there is absolutely no reason for introducing these new certificates. If we can do without VI-1s for a year, then scrapping these unnecessary, EU-style rules and reducing red tape must be the right decision, and we won’t let this drop until Government abolishes them entirely.
Talking to the press about the issue WSTA Chief Executive Miles Beale said: ““A delay is merely kicking the can down the road – yet again,” he added “Instead of prevaricating, ministers should be seizing this opportunity to help boost the UK wine sector, promote free trade and get a better deal for British wine businesses and consumers.”
We were pleased to be able to take the debate on VI-1s to Newsnight. You can watch the report here.
Our work here shows that Defra are listening and that the WSTA is effective at getting through to politicians. By working together with our members we have provided evidence to Government that additional red tape is costly, inefficient and unnecessary. We are hopeful that further discussions with Defra will yield more good news in the coming weeks, this time focused on spirits red tape.
Last week also saw a glimmer of hope that the UK Government is taking on board our arguments against including glass bottles in DRS. They announced a consultation, including considering taking larger bottles out of scope and a delay to their DRS start date. It’s now unlikely that any UK-wide DRS scheme will come into operation before late-2024. More good news, this time from north of the border – following consistent WSTA lobbying, the Scottish Government also announced an inquiry to consider a delay to their DRS start date.
Don’t forget to help us help you by getting involved in our calls for evidence and if there are wine and spirit companies you know who aren’t in membership, then please point them in our direction. For more information on WSTA membership please contact email@example.com