Trade & Market Access – March 2021

Prosecco in Singapore
For those following our previous efforts to protect the use of Prosecco across the globe, Australian Grape & Wine has progressed its legal battle for the protection of Australian producers’ rights to label the variety in Singapore. Several years ago, the Italian Prosecco Consortium lodged an application with Singapore Intellectual Property Office to protect the term as a Geographic Indication, which if granted would provide them overarching rights to the terms use on wine labels. We have been working with Prosecco importers and exporters to Singapore to lodge evidence in opposition to this application since it was lodged. The case is now reaching its conclusion with a formal full hearing advised for April 2021, and pending any ongoing appeals, we are expecting to have a final result by mid-year 2021.

Trade Negotiations
This month Australia is in full “trade negotiation mode”, with both the United Kingdom (Round 4) and European Union (Round 10) Free Trade Agreement negotiations occurring virtually during March. Progress is expected to be made in both negotiations, and key elements that will apply to wine include:

Treatment of the independent Wine Agreements

Protection of Geographic Indications

Wine tariffs

VI1 Certificates

Allowable oenological practices

Rules of origin

An update on progress will be provided in subsequent editions, following the completion of these March negotiation rounds.

European Union
The EU has continued to announce a number of high-level strategic, and policy positions, with potential implications for wine. It is progressing the implementation of its carbon border adjustment (CBA) under the EU Green Deal. Recently the EU’s Environment Committee adopted a resolution backing the CBA, saying it should be implemented and in place by 2023. With the United Kingdom and the United States of America also highly invested in addressing climate change, Australia is at real risk of major trade disadvantages under such policies.   The EU also recently announced further information regarding “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan” with a strong focus on the prevention of harmful alcohol consumption.

Market Diversification
In November 2020, the Australian Government announced it would invest $72.7 million to help Australian agribusinesses expand their export markets in 2021 as part of the Agri-Business Expansion Initiative. While this funding is not wine sector specific, it does have a focus on assisting those industries which have been most impacted by recent market closures. The funds are split between departments of Agriculture and Austrade, and are targeting a range of government resources and support programs.

Australian Grape & Wine is continuing to work directly with the Australian Government to ensure the sector can capitalise on this funding in support of market expansion. There is much work to be done yet, but we will provide further information on how this funding will be used to support the Australian grape and wine sector once it is available.

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