Guidance

Importing and exporting wine from 1 January 2021

Rules for wine importers, exporters, producers, retailers and distributors from 1 January 2021.

New rules for January 2021

The UK has left the EU, and the transition period after Brexit comes to an end this year.

This page tells you what you'll need to do from 1 January 2021. It will be updated if anything changes.

You can also read about the transition period.

‘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 from a non-EU country into the UK

There will be no change to the requirements for wine imported into the UK from a non-EU country from 1 January 2021 to 1 October 2021.

Importing wine from the EU to the UK

VI-1 certificates will not be required for EU wine imported into Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) from 1 January 2021 to 30 June 2021.

Importing wine from the EU into NI

There will be no change to the marketing standards requirements for importing wine into Northern Ireland (NI) from the EU.

Moving wine from NI to GB

VI-1 certificates will not be required to move wine to GB from NI.

Labelling wine imported from EU and non-EU countries

You can continue to use the name and address of an importer, or bottler in the case of bulk wine imports, based in the EU, GB or NI on the label for bottles 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.

Exporting wine from the UK to the EU

The UK is no longer a member of the EU and will be classed as a third country from 1 January 2021.

Exporting wine from GB to the EU

Consignments of wine exported from GB to the EU will be subject to EU third country requirements for wine which include having an EU VI-1.

There are some situations where you do not need a VI-1 to export wine from GB to the EU. Check exemptions to the VI-1.

Information about how you can apply for an EU VI-1 will be published when available.

Exporting wine from NI to the EU

There will be no change to marketing standards requirements for exporting wine from NI to the EU.

Businesses in NI will not be required to provide VI-1 documents for exports to the EU.

Moving wine from GB to NI

Goods moving from GB into NI will also be required to meet EU import marketing standards requirements.

Inspections and registration

Defra will be required to certify that the wine complies with EU regulations and has been produced using winemaking practices which are either or both of the following:

  • recommended and published by The International Organisation of Vine and Wine
  • authorised by the EU

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS) are responsible for the inspection and registration of wine exporters. You’ll need to have registered with the FSA’s Wine Standards Team or with FSS before you apply to Defra for a VI-1.

Register with the Food Standards Agency or Food Standards Scotland

If you are not currently registered with the FSA but are intending to export wine to the EU or move shipments to NI from 1 January 2021 you should send an email to:

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 your wine you should apply to register as soon as possible.

For more information about registering with the FSA email the FSA wineexportsregistration@food.gov.uk.

For more guidance about the FSS visit the FSS website.

WSB number

After registering with the FSA or FSS you’ll receive a WSB number. You will need to provide your WSB number to Defra when you apply for VI-1 certification.

If you’ve already registered with the FSA or FSS you should have received a WSB number.

For more information about WSB numbers email Defra at wine.exports@defra.gov.uk.

Exemptions to the VI-1

There are some situations where you can import wines to the UK, or export from the UK to the EU, without a VI-1. This will continue from 1 January 2021.

You won’t need a VI-1 for wines that are:

  • 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 consignments from one person 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’ll still be able to use the simplified VI-1 for importing wines from Australia and Chile. Wines from the United States (US) can continue to use a simplified VI-1 and US wineries can continue to self-certify their VI-1s.

This guidance is subject to Parliamentary process.

Published 14 October 2020
Last updated 27 October 2020 + show all updates
  1. Added information on labelling wine imported from EU and non-EU countries. Updated details on importing and exporting wine between the UK and EU and non-EU countries.

  2. First published.