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WSTA Calls For Suspension Of Wine Tarriffs In Event Of No-Deal Brexit

Published on Jan 13 2019 10:30 AM in Drinks tagged: UK / Brexit / Wine and Spirit Trade Association / WSTA

WSTA Calls For Suspension Of Wine Tarriffs In Event Of No-Deal Brexit

The UK's Wine and Spirit Trade Association is calling on the country's government to consider a temporary suspension of wine tariffs in the event that a no-deal Brexit takes place.

The WSTA says that the temporary suspension could last between six and 12 months, and would likely 'reduce the strain' on the supply chain that would be brought about by a no-deal Brexit.

It also said that the measure would likely have 'minimal impact' on the Treasury's coffers, and would likely cost less than having to introduce a system for the collection of tariffs at the border.

“Since the Referendum, the WSTA has campaigned consistently for a deal with the EU that delivers frictionless trade in goods, with no additional tariffs or costs," commented Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association.

"If the UK ends up with a no-deal Brexit then wine businesses will have to cope with additional tariffs as well as another duty rise - which is highly likely to end up full square in the consumer’s lap, bumping up wine prices to an all-time high."

The WSTA estimates that should the UK crash out of the EU without a deal, an extra 20p would be added to the price of a bottle of wine.

Stockpiling Supplies

The group also noted that wine importers have taken to stockpiling wine, amidst the Brexit uncertainty, with Direct Wines bringing in an additional 2 million bottles, about a 40% increase, on their usual stock, and Bibendum recently announcing a “robust Brexit plan” that will see it order "significant" extra wine.

"We are calling on government to clarify their tariff plans now and - in the event of a no deal Brexit - to commit temporarily to imposing no tariffs on wines for at least 6 months," said Beale.

"This would be a pragmatic solution with any loses to the Treasury covered by not having to implement a costly new system. It also leaves intact government’s ability to remove tariffs on wine permanently – but as part of a future free trade deal.”

© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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