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Liv-ex wins industry award for developing ABV database

Liv-ex wins industry award for developing an ABV database to help increase the efficiency of the supply chain post-Brexit.

Nick Palmer (Head of Product) collected the prize on behalf of Liv-ex.

Yesterday, Liv-ex won The Drinks Business’ Supply Chain Initiative of the Year award for its development of an ABV database.

“The LWIN and ABV database will continue to develop at pace over the coming years. Liv-ex believes that an efficient supply chain will benefit the whole trade. As an industry leader, we have the responsibility to support it through innovations like this” – Nick Palmer, Liv-ex Head of Product.

What we did

As of 2020, Liv-ex began recording and verifying alcohol by volume (ABV) values for wines. To date, it has recorded the alcohol levels of 35,000 wines, nearly 20,000 of which have been verified by the warehouse team, who have checked the bottles one by one.

They were doing it so as to be able to generate commodity (sometimes called HS codes) codes automatically, making it easier for our members to ship wine around the world – especially in the context of Brexit.

Liv-ex also developed an algorithm that takes these ABV values and combines it with other product details that are stored in the LWIN database, such as origin and designation. This generates commodity (HS) codes and can be used to generate shipping documentation automatically. The administrative burden brought by Brexit is therefore reduced considerably.

Why are commodity codes important?

Commodity codes are needed for every wine on shipments between different territories. The relevant code for each wine is determined by a number of variables, such as alcohol level, origin and designation. These details are often different across vintages. Obtaining accurate information can therefore be time-consuming and comes with significant risk of error.

Getting the right codes is important because they are used to calculate the Customs Duty or VAT owed when moving goods. The HMRC (UK) website warns that incorrect codes can lead to delays, seizures of goods, and additional charges.

How has the database made a difference?

The impact has been so significant that Liv-ex has been able to maintain low settlement times throughout this disruptive period. This has given our 550 merchant members the confidence to continue global trading despite the challenges of the past year.

In fact, trade on Liv-ex has more than doubled over this period, showing that members are confident in our supply chain management. In essence, this initiative has kept the secondary market for fine wine operational, allowing merchants to keep trading.

Access Liv-ex’s ABV database

Liv-ex members can use this algorithm and access the ABV database to help them reduce the administrative burden of buying and selling wine from overseas. For more information, Liv-ex members can contact their account manager.

If you are not yet a Liv-ex member, you are welcome to request a demo and further information from our team using this quick form.

Find out more