Grocery Trader reports that Festive sales of alcohol are set to be the largest ever this year. Article.

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Update to import controls timeline

Field Force Support Team

Border and Protocol Delivery Group



Government sets out pragmatic new timetable for introducing border controls

The government has set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full import controls for goods being imported from the EU to the UK.

The government has today [15 September 2021] set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full import controls for goods being imported from the EU to the UK.

Businesses have faced a range of challenges over recent months as they recover from the global pandemic which has impacted supply chains across Europe. This is being felt particularly by the agri-food sector, where new requirements on importing products of animal origin were due to be introduced from next month. Rather than introduce these controls at this time, the government has listened to those who have called for a new approach to give businesses more time to adjust.

Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced, although safety and security declarations will now not be required until 1 July 2022.

Under the revised timetable:

  • The requirements for pre-notification of Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) goods, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 January 2022.
  • The new requirements for Export Health Certificates, which were due to be introduced on 1 October 2021, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Phytosanitary Certificates and physical checks on SPS goods at Border Control Posts, due to be introduced on 1 January 2022, will now be introduced on 1 July 2022.
  • Safety and Security declarations on imports will be required as of 1 July 2022 as opposed to 1 January 2022. Full customs declarations and controls will be introduced on 1 January 2022 as previously announced.

Minister of State at the Cabinet Office, Lord Frost, said:

We want businesses to focus on their recovery from the pandemic rather than have to deal with new requirements at the border, which is why we’ve set out a pragmatic new timetable for introducing full border controls.

Businesses will now have more time to prepare for these controls which will be phased in throughout 2022.

The government remains on track to deliver the new systems, infrastructure and resourcing required.

The government will work closely with the Devolved Administrations on the implementation of this new timetable, given their devolved responsibilities for agri-food controls.

We remain on track to deliver new systems, infrastructure and resourcing needed for these controls.

For further information see here.


4 Eyes Ltd advises on all aspects of customs and excise compliance, and we feature on the DIT providers website. We can assist with imports and exports (including arranging for UK clearance) and can advise on facilitative regimes where appropriate. We can also train staff to help your business prepare for these challenges. Please contact us if you wish to discuss these services and we will arrange a no obligation, free, video consultation. 

UK wine imports – Form VI-1 to be scrapped

4 Eyes Ltd is a member of the Wine and Spirits Trade Association (WSTA). Together with WSTA, we are lobbying to facilitate businesses wishing to import alcoholic products to the UK.

The WSTA has been successful in lobbying the UK government to scrap the forms VI-1 accompanying large shipments of wine. This will help EU and rest of world importers.

4 Eyes Ltd continues to lobby for a facilitation to allow spirits distributors to register to apply UK duty stamps and also for facilitation on upcoming labelling rules to show the importer ID.

WSTA scores historic win as Government announce scrapping of arduous and unnecessary wine paperwork

Created: 26 July, 2021

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has won a significant post-Brexit victory, for its members and consumers, after government has agreed to scrap wine-specific paperwork on imports from across the globe.  

Following the referendum, the WSTA started a campaign calling for Government to do away with the time consuming and costly VI-1 forms on imported wine.  

The historic removal of this unnecessary red tape will mean the UK’s 33 million wine consumers will be able to continue to enjoy the vast range of imported wines without additional costs. 

After leaving the EU the WSTA warned that the introduction of the new forms and laboratory test demands would have brought wine imports from the EU to a standstill and cost the industry approximately £70 million.  Today’s decision to scrap all wine import certificates, not just those for EU wine, will see even greater savings – approximately £100m.    

Defra’s announcement that wine-specific VI-1 forms will now not be required for imports from the EU and beyond, is a huge boost for producers, importers and consumers – 99% of wine consumed in the UK is imported, with 55% of that coming from the EU. 

The UK wine industry contributes around £11 billion every year in economic activity and employs 130,000 people across the supply chain. The scrapping of these non-tariff barriers, championed by the WSTA will prevent the price of a bottle of wine increasing by around 13p.  

If the plans to introduce VI-1s to wine coming in from the EU had come into play, imports would have required laboratory analysis – a process the WSTA estimates would have cost about £330 per shipment and may well have put off smaller producers from sending their wines to the UK reducing consumer choice. 

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said:  

“This is a truly historic moment for the UK’s world-leading wine trade. We have spent more than two years campaigning relentlessly to avoid the introduction of new import certificates for EU wine imports on the one hand and scrapping the unnecessary and costly VI-1 wine paperwork for on-EU wine imports on the other. The first would have cost the UK wine industry some £70m [annually], reduced consumer choice and bumped up prices. The second will increase those savings to over £100 million. It’s a truly fantastic outcome. 

“It is heartening to know that Government trust the WSTA’s advice and are listening to the concerns of business, particularly SMEs. This is a major win for wine lovers and the UK wine industry. I am sure corks will be popping across the globe in celebration of this most welcome news.”  

James Miles, Chairman and Managing Director (Co-Founder) at Liv-ex Ltd said:  

“I cannot overstate how important today’s announcement is to the UK wine industry. The WSTA and its members have been campaigning hard to stop UK officials from imposing unnecessary import regulations on the wine trade.  

“Government has shown it is in tune with business by taking this once in a lifetime opportunity.  By removing these unnecessary and costly non-tariff barriers to trade it has re-set our trading arrangements with the rest of the world in a way that that will enhance the UK’s leading position in the global wine trade.” 



4 Eyes Ltd can assist with your import and export requirements. Please contact us if you would like to discuss these services. We are the major UK provider of duty compliance services into the UK market and through our extensive EU network can also facilitate your trade throughout the EU.