Members » Newsletter Articles » International Issues & Activities - December 2018

International Issues & Activities - December 2018

Good news on Nero d’Avola  

WFA have recently published a summary of the grape variety Nero d’Avola on our website which highlights some background information and recent outcomes of the EUs application to have the term “Avola” registered as a protected Geographical Indication in Australia. Read more about this positive outcome here


Australia – Canada, World Trade Organisation (WTO) Action

WFA has continued to work closely with DFAT on the Australia – Canada WTO case in recent months. Recently, the United States released side letters to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), now known as US–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which committed to resolving the discriminatory measures outlined in their WTO action against Canadian wine in British Columbia. The result of this side agreement is the US WTO action has now been placed on hold, and will only proceed after 1 November 2019 if the measures have not been resolved. This is part of the USMCA agreement and therefore in theory would only apply to those which are a party to it (US/Mexico/Canada) and not others like Australia. Regardless if this would be the case in practice, it justified the need for Australia’s own WTO action, as side agreements were always a risk.  Now that the US WTO Action is on hold, it means the Australian action can progress independently of the US.

The Australian Government has made it very clear, both publicly and in discussions with Canada, that Australia is willing to negotiate an outcome outside of the WTO process. We are expecting further action to resolve the issues will progress in early 2019. However, what format this takes, will depend on Canada's willingness to engage in negotiations and in turn implement genuine change to discriminatory practices occurring in the provinces. WFA will continue to work closely with the Australian Government and our international colleagues to resolve these issues.


World Wine Trade Group 

Damien Griffante represented the Australian wine industry at the World Wine Trade Group (WWTG) meetings in Neuquén Argentina in late November 2018. Some key areas of work from the meeting included:

  • EU Product Environmental Footprint for Wine was considered and work has commenced to develop a WWTG position to provide to the EU.
  • GIs and IP protection work, including the consideration of further joint action and strategy.
  • Alcohol related harm and health policy discussions.
  • Brexit discussions and work to establish the possibility of the UK joining the WWTG following Brexit.
  • Further work on refining the Wine Regulatory Cohesion Agreement (WRCA), a treaty level agreement that will seek to further harmonise wine regulatory requirements and remove barriers to wine trade.
  • MRLs- further work to align and share information on MRLs, priority chemicals and work collaboratively to counter EU approach to agrochemicals.
  • FTA and regulatory updates across the groups 9 member countries.  


For further information on any international trade and market access issues contact Damien Griffante at