Russian new licensing stamps a warning for the UK
Russian wine fans are having to forego their favourite foreign wine after a bureaucratic blunder has left restaurants and off-licences virtually empty of bottles. The problem arose after new excise stamps, which are compulsory on all alcohol imported into Russia, arrived too late for many restaurants and shops to get their bottles relabelled by the 1 July deadline. As a result, the bottles had to be removed and sent back to warehouses because only the importer is allowed to restamp them. According to The Guardian newspaper, one central Moscow off-licence had only three bottles of Californian red wine and a bottle of Cognac to sell last week. Let’s hope that when the UK introduces duty stamps on spirits from 1 October this year that things go a lot more smoothly.