New Zealand – European Union Free Trade Agreement signing

On 30 June 2022, New Zealand (NZ) and the European Union (EU) announced they had concluded negotiations of their Free Trade Agreement (FTA). The Australian Trade Minister, Senator the Hon Don Farrell, has also publicly stated the Australian Government’s intentions to finalise Australia’s FTA with the EU by the end of the year. The NZ-EU FTA provides some insight into the final bargaining positions of the EU with one of our close trading partners and also raises some issues around trade between Australia and New Zealand. Some of the key outcomes of the NZ-EU FTA relevant to wine are as follows:

Tariffs – The FTA allows for Tariff elimination on entry into force for all NZ wine beging exported into the EU.

Wine Technical Barriers to Trade – New Zealand have sought to resolve technical wine related issues with the EU via the inclusion of a Wine and Spirit Technical Annex. The Annex resolves a number of technical issues between NZ and EU in oenological practices and processes, labelling, certification and other technical elements. Of note are provisions which allow for simplified VI1 certificates for NZ wine, similar to the Australian certificates.

Geographic Indications – The EU continues to negotiate hard with all its FTA partners on provisions for protection of its GIs. Of particular note, NZ has agreed to phase out use of Parmesan and Fetta over five and nine years respectively following entry into force of the agreement.  NZ has also agreed to phase out the use of the term Prosecco. Having minimal investment in the production of the grape variety, the NZ Government have agreed that “The protection of the geographical indication “Prosecco” shall not prevent the continued and similar use of the term “Prosecco” by any persons, including their successors and assignees, for a maximum of 5 years from entry into force of this Agreement, where they have made commercial use of the term in a continuous manner at entry into force of this Agreement. Where any such use of the term occurs, that use must be accompanied by a legible and visible indication of the geographical origin of the product concerned.”  

This will impact exports of Australian Prosecco to New Zealand and we are seeking clarification of our options to object.

Other grape varieties considered at risk, such as Montepulciano, Nero d’Avola, Sangiovese can continued to be used despite also holding EU GI protection status, “Grappa” the common name of a grape marc based spirit with no distinguishing geographic features or reference point, has also been agreed to be phased out over 5 years by NZ.

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