The international trading environment is becoming increasingly complex and uncertain as trade tensions between major powers threaten existing global trade arrangements. In order to mitigate any impact on the wine sector, Wine Australia pursues its strategy of engagement with key international fora aiming to harmonise or mutually recognise international wine production, labelling and compositional requirements.
Wine Australia works with the Australian Wine Research Institute and Australian Grape & Wine to ensure the key issues confronting Australian wine exporters are addressed. Our activities include:
- engagement with the Federation International du Vin et Spirit (FIVS), the international trade body representing the wine and spirits sector (Wine Australia sits on the Scientific Technical Advisory Committee, the Social Sustainability Working Group and the Codex Taskforce)
- the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), which meets annually and is increasingly coordinating wine sector approaches to the World Health Organisation, the World Trade Organisation and to Codex Alimentarius, and
- the International Wine Technical Summit, which considers best practice in wine regulation and inter-laboratory proficiency testing.
We complement these influences on the international wine regulatory agenda by maintaining comprehensive Export Market Guides to the technical requirements of 40 major international wine markets.
We continue to monitor trade developments, negotiate arrangements to improve market access and streamline importing requirements, provide informed analysis and support to Australian Government officials, build relationships with regulators in key export markets and provide a response capability in the event of adverse developments.
EU – Australia Wine Agreement
The Agreement Between Australia and the European Community on Trade in Wine signed in Brussels on 1 December 2008 is a formal international agreement that regulates the trade in wine between Australia and the European Community. The Agreement came into force on 1 September 2010 and replaced the 1994 Wine Agreement.
There are significant advantages to Australian producers and exporters in this agreement because most Australian winemaking techniques are now accepted. There are much simpler requirements covering everything from labelling and blending rules to alcohol levels and the display of Australian awards. Australian wine producers now have to make fewer changes and concessions to sell their wine in the EU.
The Register of Protected Geographical Indications and Other Terms includes the full list of Europe's geographical indications and traditional expressions that Australia agreed to protect under the Wine Agreement.
World Wine Trade Group agreements
Australia is party to a number of agreements through the WWTG. This includes the Agreement on Mutual Acceptance of Oenological Practices (MAA) which is a multilateral treaty involving Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Georgia, Canada and the US. Under the terms of the MAA, wine made in accordance with Australia’s winemaking practices can be marketed in each signatory country whether or not those practices are legal in the importing country.
Australia is also party to the WWTG Agreement on Requirements for Labelling. The labelling agreement allows for the possibility of a single 'global' label through eliminating mandatory placement requirements and introducing a 'single field of vision' concept. This concept will be satisfied when four common mandatory items (alcohol content, product name, volume statement and country of origin) are placed on the same label.
An example of two permissible options under the agreement is provided in this attachment.
IP protection in China
If you want to protect your trade mark in China in a cost-effective manner, you need to register it with the China Trademark Office (CTMO). See How to Protect Trade Marks in China.
The nature of the IP right, the type of offence, and relief sought will all impact on where an IP rights holder should seek assistance. See Enforcement of IP in China.