New regulations are giving the nation’s wine export regulator, Wine Australia, broader powers to protect the reputation of wine exports.
The regulations, introduced this week, include Wine Australia’s capacity to assess whether an exporter is a “fit and proper person”.
They extend the industry body’s power to do more to protect Australian wine’s reputation overseas by ensuring the bona fides of potential and existing exporters.
“Australia’s wine exports continue to climb and our reputation for delivering on quality is a very important part of that growth,” said Wine Australia chief executive officer, Andreas Clark.
“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 cannot be exported from Australia without approval from Wine Australia.
The new regulations give Wine Australia authority to deny approval for 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 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.
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.