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International Issues & Activities - July 2018

Canada

The Australian Government held follow-up bilateral discussions with Canada at the end of April.  Canada remain unlikely to implement genuine action to resolve these issues. At the end of May, the US announced it would pursue a World Trade Organisation (WTO) panel for its own action. Australia will need to consider taking its own action to a WTO panel stage.

European Union

  • European alcohol industry proposal on nutrition and ingredient labelling submitted to the European Commission for consideration.
  • Product Environmental Footprint - Category rules for wine are expected to be published soon, but the initiatives intended application is still uncertain.
  • Recent changes to excise tax arrangements announced to assist small businesses across Europe.
  • EU – Mexico FTA finalised - a range of grape varieties were not accepted as protected GIs, however, we understand that Prosecco has been classified as a protected GI.
  • Continued investment and prioritization of protection of GIs.


Government Health Policy and World Health Organisation (WHO)

  • The World Health Organisation (WHO) is convening a consultation with representatives of alcohol production and trade, on ways they could contribute to reducing the harmful use of alcohol, to be held on 19 and 20 June 2018.
  • WHA meeting in May to consider the 13th General Programme of Work for WHO.
  • United Nations General Assembly on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases to be held on 19 and 20 September 2018.
  • A range of Government implemented health polices being considered or implemented across Vietnam (advertising restrictions and taxation), South Africa (health warning labels & advertising restrictions), Ireland, Scotland, Wales (MUP, health warning labels, advertising and other sales restrictions). France (health warning label changes), India (health warning labels).
  • Codex CCFL consideration of ongoing work on Alcoholic Beverage labelling.


FTA and Bilateral Negotiations

  • TPP11 is now finalised and awaiting ratification processes in the member countries. WFA have made two submissions to senate standing committees urging swift ratification. 
  • Pacific Alliance - WFA has met with the negotiators and other Government departments and emphasised the importance of inclusion of a wine annex, addressing technical barriers to trade.
  • Brexit - will happen and will most likely be a rollover of existing EU regulations. WFA have been in discussions with Wine and Spirits Trade Association (UK) and Australian Government on arrangements for a rollover wine agreement.
  • RCEP - Negotiations are continuing.
  • Australia - European Union negotiations will commence in July 2018, Prosecco remains a major point of contention. 
  • Certification– WFA is working with Wine Australia to lessen the impact of potential trade barriers around certification requirements in Thailand.