Read Wine Australia's Licensing and Compliance Guide for everything you need to know about the regulatory requirements for the production, sale and export of Australian wine.
Wine Australia’s regulatory framework is set out in the Wine Australia Act and includes:
- administration of the export controls on wine exported from Australia in accordance with Part 3 of the Wine Australia Regulations 2018 by issuing licences, export approvals for grape products, and export certificates
- ensuring that grape products exported from Australia comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code
- ensuring that exported products comply with the laws of the importing country
- maintaining the Register of Protected Geographical Indications and Other Terms in accordance with the Act, and
- ensuring the truth of claims made on wine labels about vintage, variety and origin through administration of the Label Integrity Program in accordance with Part VIA of the Act.
Importance of a compliance regime
There are two major reasons for the establishment of any wine regulatory system:
- To protect consumers; and
- To ensure a fair trading environment for producers and exporters.
A robust and enforceable compliance regime is essential for supporting the sector’s promotional efforts. A scandal involving the misrepresentation of the provenance or composition of wine would potentially damage Australia’s reputation for producing quality wines with truthful labels. Not all wine producing countries share the reputation enjoyed by Australia. It is critical to maintain this competitive advantage.
Australia is increasingly recognised as an abundant source of regionally distinctive wines made from an array of both traditional and recently introduced grape varieties. Maintaining the integrity of region and variety claims has never been more important.
Consequences of non-compliance
Wine Australia takes its regulatory responsibilities very seriously. We provide guidance to the wine sector in order to minimise the risk of non-compliance. When significant breaches are discovered, Wine Australia is required to take appropriate action. The response can range from instruction to relabel non-compliant product, to the cancellation of a person’s licence to export and, in extreme cases, to prosecution. The penalties for failing to comply with the Label Integrity Program, making false or misleading label claims or exporting wines in contravention of the Regulations include the possibility of imprisonment.
We’re here to help
Fundamental to Wine Australia’s regulatory approach is our desire to assist exporters and producers to meet legislated obligations. We are here to help you comply with international wine composition and labelling requirements. See our guide to domestic labelling here.
To assist exporters in navigating the maze of regulations in overseas markets, Wine Australia publishes Export Market Guides in relation to over 40 key countries which include information on duties and taxes, wine standards, labelling regulations and other country-specific import requirements. These guides are available free of charge to licenced exporters and to those who pay the wine grapes levy.
A copy of Wine Australia’s Regulatory Services quality manual can be found here.
When processing export applications, subject to you supplying us with everything we need to complete the transaction, we will endeavour to achieve the following timeframes:
- Export licence - 5 working days
- Product registration (manual processing) - 1 working day
- Shipping application (manual processing) - 1 working day
- Export documents - 1 working day wherever possible
- Label opinions - 3 working days, subject to the availability of resources and evidence that the client has made a reasonable effort to comply with the requirement of the intended market.
Suggestions and comments
We are keen to improve the level of service we offer and welcome your suggestions or comments on your dealings with us.
If you are unhappy with our service or the behaviour of any of our staff you should:
- in the first instance, contact the staff member concerned or ask to speak to the staff member’s manager with a view to resolving your concerns immediately
- alternatively you may contact the Chief Executive or General Manager Corporate Affairs and Regulation for advice on the appropriate courses of action open to you
- if you are still not satisfied or would like to provide feedback, your concerns should be submitted in writing to the Chief Executive.
Written complaints will be fully investigated and a written response provided within 20 working days of receipt of the complaint.