Export process a “nightmare” post-Brexit say Skye Distillers

Thomas and Alistair Wilson
PHOTO: Willie Urquhart/WHFP

One of the founders of the Isle of Skye Distillers has described the current process of exporting their Misty Isle Gin as a “nightmare” post-Brexit.

Misty Isle Gin was first launched in February 2017 and the firm has received a host of accolades for their products.

However Alistair Wilson, who runs the company alongside his brother Thomas, said the new procedures were like a “minefield”. He feared the complexities could lead to their export trade being wiped out this year.

Alistair said: “It is mainly Germany that we export to, and the issue is the same as the one that is facing the fishing industry.

“We haven’t actually sent anything [this year] because I am not going to take the chance of it not getting there.

“In terms of what needs to be done, it is a minefield and nobody has the answers – whether it be on custom charges, taxes, what paperwork must go or how you ship it.”

Contrasting the conditions for their business now with before Brexit, he said: “It has been a bit of a nightmare. I do believe there are still companies that are collecting from here and taking goods into the EU but from what I gather from our main haulier, who has been going for 30 years, exporting and transporting goods all over the world, even they don’t know what’s happening.

“In our industry it was very simple. We would go onto the online system, create our alcohol excise movement and move the duty element — which was the main cost — onto our client who then pays their country’s alcohol duties.

“We can’t do that any more.

“I am sure that there will be a solution for it sooner or later but it just can’t come quick enough for us, when we’ve got orders backing up that we can’t do anything with.”