Alcohol and Food

imported food alcohol

Importing food

Seacon UK know that any food product imported into the UK must comply with EU legislation on contaminants which could include:

  • contaminants – mycotoxins and aflatoxins
  • pesticides
  • salmonella

Legislation has been put into place to protect public health. There are certain types of food which are considered high risk; if you are involved with importing food from a third world country or a non-EU country then you must be aware of the guidelines.

There are other strict guidelines in place for importing foods from India, China and some Eastern European countries, specific to each country. If you are unsure, make sure you speak to the experts first. Seacon UK are highly experienced in importing and exporting food all around the world and can advise you on what procedures are required and the costs involved.

Over the last twenty years there has been a significant increase in food imports to the UK from all over the world. Supermarkets and food wholesalers want to offer a greater variety and more exotic food. In some cases, food can be cheaper to import to the UK than to grow or purchase here. Price isn’t always the issue though as many imported foods are grown organically outside the UK and are easier to import.

Lucy Bee coconut oil

There has also been an increase in food stuffs being imported for the purpose of creating health and beauty products, as is the case with Lucy Bee, a client of Seacon UK who has been having raw foods, such as coconut oil, imported for over ten years now by Seacon UK.

Phil Buckingham – Lucy Bee
“Seacon is one of the few companies Lucy Bee deals with that I would recommend without reservation. Brian and Tony are always prepared to go that ‘extra mile’ and have, over the years, got us out of ‘trouble’ more than once.  We import organic raw materials from around the developing world and the whole process is not without challenges, Seacon always deliver.”


Importing alcohol differs greatly from importing food. Alcohol is classed as excise goods which are products that have an inland tax as opposed to a customs duty tax. Alcoholic beverages are almost always 0% duty rated; this means that you don’t pay any duty charges to Customs but you need to pay duty on your excise goods when they leave any duty suspension conditions.

Importing beers from across the world into Europe has established Seacon UK as a registered Consignor under the Section 100G Customs and Excise Management Act 1979 and the Excise Goods (Holding, Movement and Duty Point) Regulations 2010. Seacon UK are authorised to start duty suspended movements from the point of release. They can also store alcohol in their government approved bonded warehouse in Liverpool.

Don’t get overwhelmed with all the complications and legalities of importing, storing and distributing alcohol in the UK, let Seacon UK guide you through, whilst giving you options for the fastest and most cost effective means of transporting your goods.

Brooklyn Brewery beer on bar

Seacon have been at the forefront of importing craft beers into the UK over the last 13 years. They have imported everything from a single sample to an order of 72 x 40’ containers of alcohol. Seacon UK have managed the importing and exporting of alcohol to and from ports all around the world.

One example of a company who has benefited from Seacon UK’s expertise is the Brooklyn Brewery company from Brooklyn, New York, USA who have been working with Seacon UK to import their beer into the UK since 2005.

Seacon UK can help you save money and ensure your cargo complies with all UK and international law.


  • Worldwide FCL (Full container load) services
  • Worldwide LCL (Less container load) services
  • Partners and contacts throughout the shipping world
  • Bonded NVOCC
  • In-house ATA Carnets
  • Access to EMCS
  • Valuable advice for first time importers
  • Worldwide door to door Service
  • Customs Clearance Services
  • Warehousing
  • Import VAT / Duty
  • Goods monitored through to delivery
  • Competitive pricing