Wine and Spirit Regulation

A complex body of technical regulation, most of it EU law, governs all aspects of the wine and spirit trade: including labelling, production practices and record keeping.  As well as advising members about compliance, the WSTA works extensively with policy makers at international and national levels to help ensure that new regulation and the enforcement of existing regulation is necessary and proportionate. 

Promoting better regulation principles

The WSTA promotes principles of better regulation and wants to see these principles adhered to at an EU and national level. Regulation should only be imposed when necessary and when the benefits have been demonstrated to outweigh the burden on businesses. We work to identify and influence potential regulatory risks at all stages of the legislative process, engaging with decision makers including the EU Commission, other Member States and officials across UK Government, including HMRC, DEFRA and the Food Standards Agency.   

The WSTA maximises its influence at an international level through active participation in leading trade associations such as Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins (CEEV) the representative body of the European wine industry, spiritsEUROPE,  the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) and  FIVS,  the worldwide federation representing the wine, beer and spirit sectors.

Labelling Requirements

Legislation relating to product labelling represents a key area of WSTA regulatory activity, particularly at an EU level. Changes to product labelling can incur significant costs to businesses and create considerable complexity in the supply chain if different requirements are imposed in several marketplaces. 


Guidance for WSTA members

The WSTA provides general and individual guidance to the EU and UK regulatory frameworks that apply to wines and spirits.  Through the Wine and Spirits Technical Comittee, members have an opportunity to discuss technical challenges and related compliance issues.

Want to know more? Ask David Richardson
David Richardson

David Richardson - Regulatory & Commercial Affairs Director

David joined the WSTA in March 2014, after a career prosecuting for HM Customs and Excise, advising on law enforcement policy and working in other regulatory areas. He leads the WSTA’s work on business resilience, responding to fraud, liaising with law enforcement agencies and brand protection teams.  He sits on the Joint Alcohol and Tobacco Consultative Group and the Joint Customs Consultative Committee. He advises on compliance, particularly the HMRC's extensive change programme and due diligence requirements. David supports the Logistics Group and the Brexit-focused Customs, Logistics and Movements Group.

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 020 7089 3852

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