The Register of Protected Geographical Indications and Other Terms (Register) is a register kept by Wine Australia in accordance with sections 40ZC and 40ZD of the Wine Australia Act 2013 (the Act).
The Register contains a list of geographical indications (GIs) and traditional wine terms that are protected under Australian law. The Register consists of four parts. They are:
Part 1 - Australian geographical indications and foreign country geographical indications (and translations)
Part 2 - Traditional expressions relating to wines originating in a foreign country and any conditions of use applicable to those expressions
Part 3 - Quality wine terms for wines originating in Australia and any conditions of use applicable to those terms (these are all traditional terms used for Australian fortified wine).
Part 4 - Additional terms and any conditions of use applicable to those terms (includes Icewine, Methode Champenoise, Moscato).
Using protected GIs and other terms
Under section 40D of the Act, unless an exception can be applied, the description and presentation of a wine is false if it includes a registered GI, and the wine did not originate in that GI.
Under section 40F, the description and presentation of a wine is misleading if it includes a registered GI is used in a way that is likely to mislead as to the country, region or locality in which the wine originated.
In both cases, the definitions also extend to the use of traditional expressions, quality wine terms and additional terms where the wine is not a wine in relation to which the relevant expression/term is registered.
Under the Act, it is an offence to sell, import or export a wine with a false description and presentation, or with a misleading description and presentation (sections 40C and 40E respectively). This extends to advertising material, including on websites.
In relation to traditional wine term, it is also an offence to sell import or export a wine in contravention of a registered condition of use relating to that term (section 40G).
Penalties of up to 2 years’ imprisonment apply in relation to each offence or (or in addition to) $21,600 for an individual, and five times that for a company.
Cancellation/suspension of export licences may also apply.