Italian gourmet food and wine, not to mention the culture around Italian food, is a global passion for many. It's internationally in demand and a staple in most major cities around the world. It's easy to see why Italian wines are revered worldwide, so it's no wonder everyone wants to know how to import post-Brexit, along with unique Italian beers that are increasing in popularity.
If you have been shipping anything from the continent since Brexit was made official, you will already know how much more complicated it's all become. Then, importing from an EU member country was as easy as delivering down the road, but now, there are many more hoops to jump through and paperwork to fill out. So what exactly are the changes and pitfalls to avoid to ensure your beer and wine shipment from Italy breezes through customs and gets quickly to your customers?
Paperwork and Payments
As an ex-EU member importing anything from Italy is now treated as an import from another international country when entering the UK. As you would expect, there are more paperwork requirements and more to pay in customs and excise duties, including VAT. Knowing what these are ahead of time and considering how they affect your profit margins is essential.
There are many factors that determine the fees and paperwork required for alcohol imports, as tariffs are calculated on the quantity of imported alcohol, variation of wine or beer, and whether you have official importer status or not.
Additionally, the UK now requires alcohol licences and permissions to bring in wine and beer, all of which need label duty stamps, also known as fiscal markings. See the government guidelines here for all the details on how to get the labels (they must be officially issued) and licences.
Important to know
On the Italian side of customs, there are changes too. For example, all wine and beer exports from Italy to countries outside the European Union requires additional paperwork before any shipment may leave the country. This law adds another layer of compliance requirements (in Italian) for your paperwork load.
The new regulations for alcohol imports also require the exporting producer to register with national customs to satisfy the UK's exportation criteria to fulfil import requirements. However, these points are just the tip of the customs iceberg for wine and beer, so it's vital to research thoroughly to ensure you are compliant for your particular type and quantity imported. To get started, see the government page for advice here.
Work with Us
As a result of this added complexity, many companies and individual importers now need to use the services of an intermediary, customs agent or freight forwarding specialist to manage their shipment. Barrington Freight is an experienced freight forwarder with vast experience handling beer and wine consignments from Italy, even post-Brexit. We will help you navigate the complexities of the new system to take the pressure out of your imports.