New export control regulations for wine commence on 1 April 2018.
The Wine Australia Regulations 2018 will replace the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Regulations 1981, which expire on 31 March 2018.
The regulations set out the export controls for grape products at a product, shipment and licence level.
It is illegal to export wine (or grape product) from Australia unless:
- all the products to be exported comply with Australia’s compositional and labelling rules relating to wine and wine products
- you hold an export licence issued by Wine Australia, and
- Wine Australia has approved your shipment and the products on that shipment for export.
Changes to the Australian wine export regulations will broaden the scope of matters that Wine Australia will consider in determining if an exporter is eligible to hold a licence, and whether to grant approval for products and for shipments.
In deciding whether to grant, suspend or cancel export licences, Wine Australia will be required to apply a ‘fit and proper person test’. This will include a broad range of matters that could extend to trade mark infringement in foreign markets, non-payment of the Wine Export Charge , and other matters affecting the promotion of Australian wine overseas.
Specifically, in determining eligibility to hold an export licence, Wine Australia will continue to consider if an exporter’s actions in export markets are likely to affect adversely the reputation of Australian wine. This could extend to whether the exporter is involved in the production of ‘copycat’ or counterfeit wines.
The regulations will enable Wine Australia to deny export approval where a product could not be lawfully sold in the country to which it will be exported. This could prevent the export of a wine from Australia that infringes IP rights in the destination country.
Exporters will no longer be able to export on behalf of a company or individual that is not eligible to hold an export licence (such as where a licence has been cancelled).
Other aspects of the regulations will be liberalised. For example, to cut red tape for exporters there will no longer be a prohibition on labelling ‘grape products’ with a vintage indication.
Where non-Australian material is used to make a wine, the requirement to indicate the percentage of foreign material will be removed for additions of less than two per cent.
The regulations have also been modified to allow the continued use of grape varieties that are also geographical indications.
For further information about the changes, email us at email@example.com .
Photo: Tourism Australia