Over the past twelve months, members exporting to the UK will have been keeping a close eye on the UK Government’s proposals to amend alcohol duties. For those unfamiliar with the issue, we have been working with members and Australia’s High Commission in London to put forward our concerns about the practical implementation and potential costs of the proposed arrangements for Australian grape and wine businesses, while also proposing a range of measures to ensure the new UK duties arrangements will minimise compliance and financial costs.
The process has been delayed, with Her Majesty’s Treasury (HMT) issuing a statement suggesting it will respond to the consultation of the reform (which closed in January), in the European Autumn. While we expect the duties process to proceed in the coming months, there is significant uncertainty about the road ahead. Firstly, the outcome of the leadership tussle between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak could impact on the approach taken, as could the choice of the new Chancellor of the Exchequer – Sunak’s former role. Further to this, the new PM will be hyper-conscious of managing spiralling cost of living increases in the UK, including the costs of England’s favourite wines.
Australian Grape & Wine will continue to engage with the UK Government on this issue and report back to members regularly as matters proceed. For more information, please contact Lee McLean – firstname.lastname@example.org