The UK Government has announced that it will temporarily suspend import certification requirements for wine from the European Union (EU) for nine months from the date UK leaves the EU.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) welcomed the government’s decision to suspend the requirement of VI-1 forms for nine months.

WSTA chief executive Miles Beale said: “The government’s actions are a victory for common sense and will be met with a sense of relief by the UK wine industry as the threat of a £70m bill has been removed.

“As we made clear in our lengthy discussions with government officials, the additional form filling and laboratory tests needed had paperwork requirements not been suspended would have added a massive burden on businesses and consumers alike.

“We are delighted that the government has listened to the WSTA and demonstrated that they value the UK wine industry. However, they can and must go further. In the upcoming Budget on the 6th of November, they should listen to the WSTA and some 33 million Brits who drink wine and cut wine duty by 2%.”

WSTA notes that it has been urging Boris Johnson’s government to fulfil the commitment made by the previous government to scrap the requirement of VI-1 forms or else it would cost UK wine industry £70m annually.

The association said that the government must utilise the available time to reform import certification for all wine coming to the UK market from the EU and to other regions to reduce red tape by modernising and simplifying the existing system.

Last month, WSTA criticised the UK government’s plans to introduce red tape on wine, as the move could generate more than 600,000 additional forms, costing wine businesses £70m.