Rules for wine importers, exporters, producers, retailers and distributors.
‘Wine’ in this guide means alcoholic drinks produced exclusively from the fermentation of fresh grapes, including sparkling and fortified wines (traded on commodity code 2204).
Importing wine that originates in a non-EU country into the UK
Wine imported into the UK that originates in a non-EU country can continue using the existing VI-1 arrangements.
Importing wine from the EU to Great Britain (GB)
UK VI-1 certificates are not required for EU wine imported into GB (England, Scotland and Wales) from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021.
Importing wine from the EU to Northern Ireland (NI)
There is no change to the current EU accompanying document arrangements for importing wine from the EU to NI.
Moving wine from NI to GB
There is no requirement to provide a VI-1 certificate to move wine from NI to GB.
Labelling wine imported from EU and non-EU countries in GB
You can use the name and address of an importer that’s based in the EU, GB or NI, on the label of wine marketed in GB until 30 September 2022.
For bulk wine imports, you can use the name and address of a bottler that’s based in the EU, GB or NI, on the label of wine marketed in GB until 30 September 2022.
From 1 October 2022, wine marketed in GB must be labelled with the name and address of an importer or bottler located within the UK.
Labelling wine in NI
You must use the name and address of an importer (or bottler in the case of bulk wine imports) that’s based in the EU or NI on the label of wine marketed in NI.
In line with previous rule changes for labelling, there’s a proportionate and risk-based enforcement approach for these new labelling requirements in NI. The new approach recognises that businesses need time to adapt to the new rules. This approach is being implemented in a way which supports businesses as they adapt to the requirements over time.
Exporting wine from GB to the EU
The European Commission has granted third country listing to the UK competent bodies for the issuing of VI-1 documents.
Consignments of wine exported from GB to the EU are subject to EU third country requirements for wine, including having an EU VI-1 for third country of origin wine exports.
There are some situations where you do not need an EU VI-1 to export wine from GB to the EU. Check exemptions to the EU VI-1.
Exporting wine from NI to the EU
There is no requirement to provide an EU VI-1 certificate to export wine from NI to the EU.
Moving wine from GB to NI
Goods moving from GB into NI are required to meet EU import marketing standards requirements, including having an EU VI-1 for third country of origin wine exports.
There’s a 3-month grace period from certification for pre-registered authorised traders such as supermarkets and their trusted suppliers. This grace period is from 1 January 2021 to 1 April 2021.
Getting EU VI-1 certification
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) uses the EU VI-1 process to certify that third country of origin wine exported or moved from GB to the EU or NI complies with EU regulations.
Defra also certifies that third country of origin wine exported or moved from GB to the EU or NI has been produced using winemaking practices that are either or both:
- authorised by the EU (or are in the process of being authorised by the EU)
- produced in accordance with winemaking practices recommended and published by the International Organisation of Vine and Wine
Applying for an EU VI-1
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) are responsible for the inspection and registration of wine exporters.
If you are not currently registered with the FSA or FSS but are intending to export wine to the EU or move shipments to NI, email:
- firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re in England or Wales
- email@example.com if you’re based in Scotland
You should write ‘VI-1 Exporter registration request’ in the subject line.
The FSA and FSS usually reply to requests within 20 working days, but it may take longer during busy periods. To make sure you can continue to export or move your wine, you should apply to register as soon as possible.
For more information about registering with the FSA, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about registering with the FSS, visit the FSS website.
After registering with the FSA or FSS, you’ll receive a WSB number. You’ll need to provide your WSB number to Defra when you apply for VI-1 certification.
If you have already registered with the FSA or FSS, you should have received a WSB number.
For more information about WSB numbers, email email@example.com.
Completing an EU VI-1 application
Apply for a pro-forma VI-1 document to accompany consignments of wine:
- bottled and labelled in the third country of origin, remaining bottled before export
- exported in bulk from the third country of origin, then bottled and labelled in GB without further processing
- produced in the EU and bottled in GB
Exemptions to the VI-1
There are some instances where you do not need a VI-1 to:
- import wine to GB
- export wine from GB to the EU
- move from GB to NI
You do not need a VI-1 for wines that are:
- produced in GB – you must instead complete a self-certificate to accompany your export consignment
- in labelled containers up to 10 litres with a single use stopper, where the total quantity of the shipment (which can be in separate consignments) is less than 100 litres
- your personal property if you’re moving to the UK
- in the personal luggage of travellers, up to a maximum of 30 litres
- sent in non-commercial consignments from one private individual to another, up to a maximum of 30 litres per consignment
- for trade fairs if the wine is in labelled containers of up to 2 litres with a single use stopper
- imported for the purpose of scientific and technical experiments up to a maximum of 100 litres
- held in stores on board ships and airplanes operating in international transport
- originating from and bottled in the UK, exported and then returned to the UK to be sold
- originating from and bottled in the EU, exported and then returned to the EU to be sold
- traded for diplomatic purposes in accordance with the Vienna Convention or the New York Convention
You’re still able to use the simplified VI-1 for importing wines from Australia and Chile. Wines from the United States of America (USA) can use a simplified VI-1 and US wineries can continue to self-certify their VI-1s.
If you need help
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries. You’ll receive a response within 5 working days.