Legislation has today been signed to remove VI-1 certificates on all wine imported to Great Britain, from January 1.  The measure, announced earlier this year, is expected to save wine importers an estimated £130m a year.

Food and drink minister Victoria Prentis, said: “The UK wine industry delivers high quality, great value wine from all over the world. By removing this pointless red tape, our businesses are in a stronger and more competitive position than before.

“Ending the requirement for import certificates is an important measure in supporting this vital industry, and a clear benefit of our now having the freedom to determine our own rules.”

Miles Beale, chief executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA), welcomed the news. He said: “This week marks the final hurdle in a two-year battle to remove unnecessary and costly inherited EU red tape on wine imports.

“It is an historic moment for the UK’s world-leading wine trade and will be cause for celebration for wine producers across the world.

It’s great to know that government trusts the WSTA’s advice and is listening to the concerns of business, particularly SMEs.”