Importing Drinks including Wine

Importing from an EU country

Rules for transporting wine into the UK
Under ‘due diligence’ procedures, UK importers and traders are responsible for ensuring wine has the correct documentation and conforms to EU rules.

There are several key documents and forms. A VI 1 is a document issued in a third country that fully describes wines imported into the European Community (EC).

The VI 2 form – an extract of the VI 1 – is used when third-country consignments are split for sending to different destinations. You can obtain form VI 2 from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). To order the form, contact HMRC VAT Helpline on Tel 0845 010 9000.

Once the VI 2 form is completed, you should retain and present it to visiting HMRC officers, who will endorse and stamp the document.

An Administrative Accompanying Document is required by HMRC for movements under duty suspension for wine from another EU country.

For more detailed information, download the FSA guide to moving wine products into and within the EC from the Agricultural Document Library (ADLib) website (PDF, 39K).

The responsibility for producing or obtaining the required documentation on demand lies with the owner (i.e. the importer) of the wine. In practice however, when wine goes direct on arrival in the UK into a tax warehouse ( or duty paid storage), other than the owner (importer’s) premises, on where wine is delivered initially to the owner (importer’s) premises but the duty responsibility is discharged by REDS. The relevant documentation will normally be held by  the warehouse (REDS) as appropriate. 

Importation of Third Country wines into the EC
With a few exceptions (REG 883/01 ART 22), third country wines entering the community must be accompanied by a V1 documentation until such wine is put into free circulation or re-exported to another third country. The detailed rules for the content and use of V1 documents are contained in REG883/01.

The V1 document provides for a detailed description of the product, a certificate of compliance with EC production criteria, and an analysis report. Responsibility for ensuring that the product ( as specified in the      Analysis Report) complies with EC regulations, and that the labelling and presentation are consistent with the V1 documents, lies with the importer.

In this context, the WSB (Wine Standard Branch of the FSA) will  (at least in the first instance)  recognise as the  responsible person the UK trader identified as the “importer” on the labelling or, if the designated “importer” operates in another member state of if  no “importer” is shown, the owner of the wine at the time it entered the UK.

It follows therefore that UK importers (owner) of Third Country wine should make arrangements not only for checking V1 documentation to ensure the product is legal but also for checking the labelling of stock against V1 documentation immediately the wine arrives in the UK. 


  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing Lists
  • Certificate of Origin
  • Laboratory
  • NationalAgriculturalLaboratory-LANAGRO/MG(Brazil)
  • official certificateofanalysis(CoA) -controlEXPORT
  • Heat treatment Declaration
  • Bill of lading
  • Form Vi 1


Import alcohol into the UK
Find out how you can import alcohol into the UK and the duty and VAT you need to pay for each method.

If you want to import alcohol from outside the EU, it becomes liable for UK Excise Duty when it arrives in the UK.

You won’t need to pay Excise Duty at that point if one of these applies:

If you sell alcohol to another business
You may need to apply for approval for the Alcohol Wholesaler Registration Scheme (AWRS)  If you intend to start wholesaling alcohol in the UK, you must apply for approval at least 45 days before you intend to trade.

Duty-paid alcohol
If alcohol has been released for consumption in another EU country it’s classed as duty paid. To import it into the UK on a commercial basis, you can use any of the schemes below:

  • the registered commercial importer scheme – by registering with HMRC the UK duty due on your goods is secured and then paid under deferment arrangements
  • the standard duty-paid scheme – you don’t need to be registered as you pay HMRC the duty before the goods are dispatched

Alcohol Duties

Importing excise goods from outside the EU

Alcoholic Duty Rates from 1at February 2019