Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

Wine Whine

Thanks for all the fish, obviously

From our Swindon correspondent:

Well, this is rather beautiful:-

The wine sector faces woes of its own, however, including one bit of paperwork that industry leaders say is so cumbersome, impractical and “bonkers” it could scar the sector for ever: the VI-1 import certificate.
 
The VI-1 is a classic example of the bureaucratic drudgery that British businesses have avoided for much of the 47 years since the UK joined the European project.
 
EU countries have long required wine shipped in from so-called third countries, or non-EU members, such as Australia, to be accompanied by the form, which typically includes a lab analysis of qualities such as alcoholic strength and acidity. But the VI-1 was not needed for wine shipped inside the bloc, which was just as well for the UK, a nation of quaffers responsible for a large share of the world’s wine imports for centuries.

Or more accurately, British businesses that imported wine from the EU avoided it. The British businesses importing wine from Australia, Chile and Lebanon had to go through all that protectionist bullshit. We left the EU, kept all the rules for now but because the rest of the EU is outside our zone, they get the same rules as everyone else, until we change the law.

“It is potentially vast,” says Rebecca Palmer, a wine buyer at Corney & Barrow, a London merchant founded before the French revolution that imports fine EU wines, including DRC.

She fears a raft of complex, costly paperwork could make some fine wines dearer and scarcer in the UK, especially those produced and shipped in very small quantities.

“Not only is it onerous but from a cost point of view it all becomes prohibitive,” she says. “You’ve got to ask yourself the question if you are a producer: can I be bothered to supply the UK?”

Which was the whole point of it in the first place for everyone outside the EU. Add a load of costs, people are less likely to import, leaving the market to EU producers. And you did nothing, absolutely nothing to complain about it for anyone else, so now it’s hurting you, you can va te faire foutre, as they might say in Burgundy.

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roger d'dog
roger d'dog
4 months ago

So producers from outside the EU have to demonstrate the quality of their wine. Producers inside can fob any old overrated acidic piss on British pseuds, if I understand the current situation correctly.

All this dozy bint has to do is shift attention towards the probably superior and cheaper wines available on the world market. Might have to forego all those junkets to France and Italy though

John B
John B
4 months ago

So the problem and solution rests with the British Government which carried on with EU rules and which can change the legislation to get rid of them.

M C
M C
4 months ago

“The VI-1 is a classic example of the bureaucratic drudgery that British businesses have avoided for much of the 47 years since the UK joined the European project.” So the FT thinks we should stay in the EU in order to avoid the painful anti-trade nonsense it inflicts on the world? I have a better idea… I know it is the FT, but I find it hard to imagine that even its readers are shedding a tear for the producers, importers and drinkers of DRC!! It’s a bit like the stories asking me to think about the plight of second… Read more »

Bongo
Bongo
4 months ago

Brilliant article.
The EU wants to harmonise alcohol taxes, well bring them into some kind of similar range to start with, as Czech has low tax on beer and high tax on wine. There are other anomalies out there that they want to stop being outliers. It’s part of what makes Europe great though is that the countries are all different.
The organisation trying to put a stop to that is about to lose a contributor.

Mohave Greenie
Mohave Greenie
4 months ago

You should try California wines; this year’s vintage has a fine,smoky flavor.

spelling pedant
spelling pedant
4 months ago

After living for some time in Frenace and Italy, now that I’m back in the UK I find that many of the food and drink products imported from the EU taste like inferior copies of the originals. The products we are fobbed off with would never be accepted by consumers in their country of origin. The corruption in the olive oil industry, for example, is well-attested – it’s hard to find a genuine EVOO.

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