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International Issues & Activities - March 2018

Wine Industry Market Access Group
On 22 February 2018, WFA held its bi-annual Market Access Group meeting with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and industry, to address a range of impediments to wine industry market access. Updates are provided at the WFA website here.

South Africa
On 22 December 2017, the Department of Health South Africa, published an amendment to Regulations Related to Health Messages on Container Labels of Alcoholic Beverages (ACT NO.54 of 1972).The amendments include:

  • Label health warnings to increase to 1/8 of the size of the container.
  • A range of 7 approved health messages to be rotated with equal regularity within a period of 36 months. 

The regulations are expected to come into force in 36 months from the date of publication (22 December 2020). WFA have previously provided WTO comments raising concerns about these regulations and have asked government to seek a response thought the WTO.

Trans-Pacific Partnership
On 24 January 2018, the Australian government announced the impending signing of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP or TPP11) which will be finalised by March 2018.  The TPP11 is the revised version of the original Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the US withdrew from in January 2017. Since the US withdrawal, the remaining parties lead by Japan and Australia have sought to ensure an outcome for its remaining 11 participants. Of greatest importance to the wine industry are the various tariff reductions across a range of markets as well as a wine annex which will provide significant benefit for reducing non-tariff trade barriers. Details of the TPP11 benefits for Australian Wine can be found here.

– As noted in last month’s market access update Ireland's revised public health bill is continuing through the lower house of UK parliament. WFA has raised the issue with the Australian government and Australia is expected to raise the issue in joint World Trade Organization (WTO) meetings. In addition, WFA have sought a meeting with the Irish Minister for Justice and Equality, the Hon Charles Flanagan during his visit to Australia for St Patricks Day. 

- WFA would like to thank all those who have provided information to us regarding trade with Canadian provinces in support of the Australian WTO challenge. The initial consultation stage of the action is due to take place in Geneva on 1 & 2 March 2018. The US, EU, New Zealand, Argentina and Chile have all joined on as third parties to the challenge in support of Australia’s action. There is still time to support this challenge with industry information, so if you export your wine to Canada we’d love to discuss this with you. Contact or 08 8133 4308.