New regulations, effective this week, give the nation’s wine export regulator Wine Australia broader powers to protect the reputation of the country’s wine exports.
Wine Australia Chief Executive Officer Andreas Clark said that the new regulations included a number of changes, the most important being the capacity to assess whether an exporter was ‘fit and proper person’.
‘Australia’s wine exports continue to climb and our reputation for delivering on quality is a very important part of that growth’, Mr Clark said.
‘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.
‘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’, Mr Clark said.
Wine cannot be exported from Australia without approval from Wine Australia and Mr Clark said that the new regulations gave 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.
Additionally, 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).
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.