The Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA) will see the elimination of tariffs on wine on entry into force, levelling the playing field for Australia’s wine exports with our major competitors from Continental Europe. Wine Australia has estimated that the tariff elimination represents a saving of approximately AUD $43million per year for the Australian wine sector.
A-UKFTA will enter into force 30 days (or another mutually agreed time) after the respective parties have confirmed in writing that they have completed their domestic requirements. The passing of the legislation through the Australian Parliament represents the completion of Australia’s process for ratification however the UK still needs to do likewise. The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill that will enable the UK to ratify this agreement, has been slowly progressing though the UK Parliament. It is currently at the reporting stage of the House of Commons and will need to pass the House of Lords and a final stage of royal assessment before it is passed. While it is unclear how long this will take, once completed the agreement will be able to enter into force.
Wine sector specific trade technical issues (e.g. allowable oenological practices, carbonation, sweetening etc) are not included as part of the A-UKFTA, however it does provide a platform for future dialogue to continue to work together on technical issues. This work will continue through ongoing discussions and negotiation through the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) for the Australia-UK Agreement on Trade in Wine (UK Wine Agreement). Australian Grape & Wine was in London in November 2022 with the Australian Government, supporting discussions of the JSC UK Wine Agreement seeking undertake work to further liberalise wine trade between the two countries.
The UK remain an incredibly important market for Australian wines. It is our largest export market by volume at 222 million litres and second largest by value at AU$395 million to September 2022.