New powers aimed to protect Australia’s wine reputation

04 April, 2018 by Andy Young

Wine Australia has welcomed the new regulations, effective this week, which have given the wine export regulator broader powers to help protect the reputation of Australia’s wine exports.

Wine cannot be exported from Australia without approval from Wine Australia and CEO Andreas Clark said that the most important change in the new regulations was the capacity to assess whether an exporter was a ‘fit and proper person’.

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“Australia’s wine exports continue to climb and our reputation for delivering on quality is a very important part of that growth,” 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.”

Wine Australia now also has the authority to deny shipments to countries where a product could not lawfully be sold, which aims to prevent 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).

Treasury Wine Estates has expressed its support for these new measures, which Angus McPherson, Managing Director of TWE Australia and New Zealand, said will help to prevent copycat wines.

“Wine Australia is now in a strong position to identify and prevent the export of copycat Australian wines. Any such product can now be stopped by Wine Australia because it puts the reputation of Australian wine at risk, and may breach Australian law and the laws of other countries.

“Without these strengthened regulations and focus from Wine Australia, the reputation of ‘Brand Australia’ has been at significant risk. Exports of copycat products from Australia have been jeopardising our industry’s continued growth,” McPherson said.