To import wine from Italy into the UK can seem like a tricky business, however, with so many wonderful wineries spotted around Italy, it is a process that is worth getting to know.
The movement of goods within the EU is free. This means that if you are importing wine from Italy, you do not have to pay customs clearance, taxes or duties.
There is, however, an Excise duty that needs to be paid. The amount of excise duty payable depends on the type of wine, the alcohol percent as well as the quantity. It is important to check the different Excise duties payable for the specific alcohol you are importing to assess the cost benefit of importing wine for commercial resale as it can get quite expensive.
If you are looking to bring home wine for personal consumption, there is a ‘limit’ of 90 liters to avoid paying excise duty. Of this 90 litres, not more than 60 litres can be sparkling wine. If you are bringing in more than this amount of wine into the UK, then customs will likely investigate whether it truly is for personal consumption and may charge an excise duty, unless you can convince them otherwise. However, if you bring in less 90 litres of wine, you will not have to pay an Excise duty.
Do note that in order to avoid paying excise duty, you have to transport the Wine to the UK yourself, for example in the back of your car. If you pay a third party to transport the wine for you, then you will always have to pay excise duty. How much you pay is determined by the amount of wine and the alcohol percentage.
If you have a third party transport the wine for you, the import process looks like this:
- Log on to HMRC
- Specify to HMRC the amount and type (alcohol percentage) of wine you are importing
- HMRC will answer with an invoice stating the payable excise duty
- Pay the excise duty to HMRC
- HMRC will send you your Excise number, as prove that you have paid excise duty
- Send your Excise number to your wine supplier
- The supplier will register your Excise number in a common EU system
- Your wine is collected and transported to your address.
Best mode of transport
In general, imports from Italy to the UK are typically done by truck or courier. However, we recommend using a trucking company to transport your wine, as courier services are commonly known to be more rough in their handling of goods. It is important to use a trustworthy trucking company to ensure that your wine is handled delicately and carefully.
Always transport wine on pallets as this is the most secure way to transport wine. A half pallet of wine tends to be around 200 bottles and a full pallet is around 600 bottles. Wine that is transported in boxes with a courier company is much more likely to be damaged in the transport process.
It is important to note that since the Brexit vote in the UK to leave the EU, there may be changes to the customs and duty regulations when importing into the UK from an EU country. However, changes will take time so this information outlines how the regulations currently stand.
Transporteca has trucking companies on our portal that can provide transport from Italy to the UK. You can search for transport of pallets from Italy to the UK on our portal to transport your wine. Compare rates of different companies, as well as transit times for freight from Italy. Call us if you need any advice with your shipment.