New regulations for grape products have been introduced to provide greater protection for Australian wine brands and the reputation of Australian wine exports.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said the Wine Australia Regulations 2018 would extend Wine Australia’s powers to protect the industry as it embarked on a transformative overseas marketing effort in the next three years.
“Australia enjoys an excellent global reputation for producing and exporting some of the finest quality wine in the world,” Ms Ruston said.
“This is a reputation worth defending, and the new regulations enable Wine Australia to do exactly that.”
Ms Ruston said Wine Australia now had the capacity to assess whether an exporter was a “fit and proper person.”
“There will always be unscrupulous people seeking to make easy money from reputations carefully established and built by legitimate Australian wine producers and exporters,” Minister Ruston said.
“Wine Australia can now ensure the bona fides of potential and existing exporters before issuing export approvals.
“The new regulations will also cut red tape for exporters by halving export certificate notification periods and reducing timeframes from order to export.”
Wine Australia CEO Andreas Clark welcomed the new changes.
Copycats and counterfeiters
“These new regulations will extend Wine Australia’s power to do more to protect Australian wine’s reputation overseas by ensuring the bona fides of potential and existing exporters,” Mr Clark said.
“Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that copycats and counterfeiters can move in when they can leverage somebody else’s good reputation to make a buck – left unchecked the damage accrues not just to an individual brand but to the reputation of the nation targeted and its other brands.”
Wine cannot be exported from Australia without approval from Wine Australia.
The new regulations give Wine Australia the authority to deny the approval of shipments where a product could not be lawfully sold in the country to which it would be exported. This could include preventing the export of a wine from Australia that infringed intellectual property-related laws in the destination country.
Also, exporters will no longer be able to export on behalf of companies or individuals that are not themselves eligible to hold an export licence (such as where a licence has been cancelled).
Wine exports hit record levels
Other aspects of the regulations will be liberalised. For example, to cut red tape for exporters there will no longer be a prohibition on placing a vintage indication on innovative wine products such as flavoured wines.
The regulations have also been modified to allow the continued use of grape varieties that are also geographical indications.
Last year, Australia’s wine exports reached record levels and the market is tipped to hit $2.5 billion this financial year.
“The future looks very bright for Australian growers and exporters,” Ms Ruston said.
“The Australian Government is supporting this bright future with a $50 million industry support package focused on transformative export marketing, after previously working with the industry and introducing critical reforms to the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) Rebate.”
The new Wine Australia Regulations 2018 are available at: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00286.
And further details can be found on Wine Australia’s website at: www.wineaustralia.com