Guidance on wine standards due diligence criteria
As a trader, and particularly if you bring wine into the UK (from other EU countries or from non EU countries), you are responsible for the authenticity, quality and labelling of the wine that you sell.
In the event of a problem with the wine you will be held accountable until you can establish that you have taken all reasonable steps (i.e. exercised “due diligence”) to prevent the problem from occurring.
Apart from your responsibilities, both in law and to your customers, due diligence checks may protect you by reducing the risk of you being a victim of an unscrupulous supplier and also by avoiding the cost and inconvenience of rectifying genuine mistakes.
If you have not checked the wine and the documentation prior to selling it you will have difficulty persuading the courts or your customers that you have exercised “due diligence” if the wine has a fault or it is falsely described or wrongly labelled.
Some problems might not lead to prosecution but could result in your wine being “frozen” until investigation or corrective action takes place. This could cause serious financial problems and difficulties with your customers.
In extreme cases you could lose customers and your reputation could be seriously affected.