The European Commission recently notified the World Trade Organisation of a reduction in the maximum residue levels for the fungicide Iprodione on wine grapes from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 0.01 ppm (i.e. the lower limit of determination).
The regulation will apply from 31 July 2019 and there is no transition period, meaning after that date wines containing detectable levels of Iprodione will no longer be accepted in the European Union (EU).
Although this development has been flagged for some time, and it appears usage of this chemical has declined significantly in Australia in recent seasons, it is likely that some wines will be denied entry to the EU even though they were compliant with the regulations at the time they were produced.
Representations by groups such as the World Wine Trade Group, of which Australia is a member, to at least permit the importation of wine made in compliance with the level of residue permitted prior to 31 July 2019 (20 mg/l) have not been successful.
This latest development is consistent with an increasingly restrictive EU approach to regulating agricultural chemicals, particularly those that have the potential to disrupt mammalian endocrine systems. To avoid problems on arrival, it is suggested that wines are tested for iprodione residues prior to despatch to EU markets.