The Chores of Bureaucracy

The 1st October hasn’t previously been a date of significance for me, however this year it will be. As of this date, products brought into the UK must have details of the importer (or their agent) included on the product. This already applies to imports from countries outside of the European Union but as a result of Brexit, it must now apply to European products too.

For us at Great Grog this will affect a significant proportion of our range as well over half of our wines come from European countries. We import many wines ourselves and have done for many years, for as long as the Company has been going in fact.

Our Champagne, many of our Proseccos, our excellent Cava and a vast swathe of our wines will now have to bear the Great Grog name and address (the requirement states that the address “contactable by post” must be included).Not a big deal you might think, it’s something done with the consumer in mind after all – product traceability and all that. However, our details must be on the wines before they arrive in the UK requiring the assistance of our suppliers in Europe.

And this is where things get a bit more involved….Now, none of the wineries that we deal with have a problem with doing this per se and there is certainly plenty of time to make and implement plans in time for the 1st October. So far we have had responses ranging from “no problem, we do this for exports to the US market already” to “eh, ok but there will be a cost”. At the moment, the price of adding importer details is somewhere between 10 & 15 cents.

Obviously, from our point of view it would be much better if there were no additional costs and we are certainly trying to see if there are ways to avoid this. We deal with a variety of wineries, from small family operated ones to large or even huge producers. The wineries are all set up differently and able to accommodate bespoke labelling requirements in different ways. Some print back labels to demand, others will have to resort to hand labelling (hence the cost) but either way, sooner or later, you will be seeing Great Grog on the back labels of the wines we import directly – a badge of reassurance that the wine is good!

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