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China updates


On 22 October 2023, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the Australian Government had reached agreement with China to expedite a review of its import duties on Australian wine. During the five-month review period, the Australian Government has agreed to suspend Australia’s World Trade Organization (WTO) wine dispute with China. See the Prime Minister’s media release and the response from Australian Grape & Wine.

This page is Wine Australia's central source for China updates and will be continually updated as new information becomes available.

Included below are some frequently asked questions to keep industry informed throughout the review process. We have also provided some information regarding regulatory considerations for China.

Frequently asked questions

1. What's happened?

China has agreed to undertake an expedited review of the duties it imposed on imports of Australian still wine (in containers of 2 litres or less) for five years, from 26 March 2021.

2. How long will the review take?

This process is expected to take five months, commencing on 31 October 2023, during which time China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has agreed to initiate, conduct and implement its review of duties.

The applicant for the review is Australian Grape & Wine, on behalf of the industry.

3. What does this mean for the WTO wine dispute?

Australia and China have agreed that Australia will suspend the dispute on wine in the WTO for a maximum period of five months.  If the duties are not removed at the end of that period, Australia will resume the dispute in the WTO.

This arrangement is consistent with the approach taken by the Australian Government in relation to import duties on Australian barley. The WTO rules preference settlements of disputes, as with barley where dialogue delivered an expedited removal of China's duties.

4. Are we optimistic about a positive outcome following the review?

We cannot pre-judge the outcome of the review and must respect MOFCOM's process. Regardless of the outcome, we remain committed to diversifying our market presence and cultivating opportunities in markets across the world. 

5. How can I stay informed of any updates through the review process/when will we hear more?

In addition to monitoring this webpage, exporters can sign up to Wine Australia’s Exporter News to stay informed about regulation and market access. Australian Grape & Wine will update industry as required on its website.

6. Who can we direct media enquiries to?

Please direct media enquiries to Lee McLean, the CEO of Australian Grape & Wine via email (lee@agw.org.au) or phone (0418 998 749). Australian Grape & Wine is the declared winemakers and grapegrowers organisation.

7. If I’m experiencing any issues with exports to China that are not related to import duties, who can I raise this with?

We are aware that some exporters of bulk wine, which are not subject to China’s import duties, are facing significant delays at the border in China. This is an important issue, but is separate to the review of import duties being undertaken by the Chinese Government.

In the first instance, exporters should work with their importers and customs broker to resolve customs clearance issues.

Should you continue to experience issues, please direct any enquiries not related to the issue of import duties to the Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) via email northasia.tmad@aff.gov.au.

8. Where can I find information about the China market, including market access and regulatory requirements?

See the details below and Wine Australia's updated Export Market Guide – China for regulatory information regarding exporting wine to China, including the regulatory environment, importation requirements (e.g.GACC[1] self-registration), duties, taxes, and wine standards. 

The Export Market Guide is free for wine exporters and levy-payers.

Exporting wine to China

How to prepare

China has implemented a number of regulatory changes that impact wine imports. Wine Australia has prepared this non-exhaustive list of factors to consider before exporting wine to China, and recommends you continue to refer to the China Export Market Guide for future updates.

1. GACC production facility self-registration and labelling requirements

In 2021, the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) released two new decrees, both of which apply to wine and wine products. The decrees mandate that, from 1 January 2022, overseas food manufacturers must register with GACC as a precursor to the products they manufacture being imported to China. All products must include relevant labelling containing the GACC issued registration number, or competent authority issued registration number, as a condition of import. Accordingly, wine production facilities handling wine exported to China should self-register through GACC's Single Window website to avoid export delays or trade disruptions.

A GACC self-registration step-by-step guide for wine producers can be found in the Importing section of the China Export Market Guide. The Labelling section of the China Export Market Guide contains information about GACC production facility registration numbers and labelling requirements.

2. GACC exporter registration

Wine exporters must register with GACC via an online form. According to Decree 249, all overseas food exporters are required to submit their company information online with the Bureau of Import and Export Food Safety of GACC, and only shipments from registered companies and agents are allowed into China. A list of registered importers and exporters is available on the GACC website.

Detailed GACC exporter registration guidance can be found in the Importing section of the China Export Market Guide.

3. Market access tips and traps

Wine exporters must comply with the China Guobiao (GB) standards, issued by the Standardization Administration of China. For example, imported wine is subject to mandatory labelling requirements (i.e. ingredient lists and sugar content on labels), and must comply with a list of approved additives and processing aids. 

Some suggestions to prevent or avoid customs violations during export are included below. 

  • When providing product certificates to the importer for customs clearance and inspection, make sure the product information on the certificates is consistent with the product which is exported. 
  • When designing China labels, check the contents for accuracy – especially any claims made on the label against China GB standards.
  • Check the permitted food additives in wine according to China GB standards. If an additive is not listed for wine, it is not permitted to be used in the product. Pay attention to the maximum use level of the additive when it is listed for wine. 
  • Compare the testing result with China GB standards before exporting. For higher risk products and testing items that approach China’s regulatory limits, consider testing according to China GB standards to avoid inconsistent results which could be due to differences in testing methods. 
  • If a wine business is exporting wine to China for the first time, consider conducting a trial export of a smaller quantity to check whether there are any problems during customs clearance and inspection before exporting larger quantities. 

For more information and to stay across how to best manage these trade requirements, please refer to the Wine Standards, Labelling and Importing sections of the China Export Market Guide

4. Intellectual property

Before exporting wine, exporters should consider gaining protection of their brand as a trade mark in the importing country. In China, the trade mark system operates on a ‘first in, first served’ basis, and trade mark protection in Australia does not provide protection in other countries. 

When contemplating exporting wine to China, it is advisable to engage a trade mark specialist to register a brand in both English and Chinese to ensure the marks are registered in the Australian business owner’s name. For more information about protecting a wine brand in China, please see the IP In China | IP Australia websites below:

5. Market access intel portal

Australian wine exporters can use the Market Access Intel Portal to report market access issues affecting exports. Reports can be made anonymously, although Wine Australia encourages contact details to be provided in case more information is needed. The information provided will be used to gain insights into the types of trade issues that are arising and will help Wine Australia to address them. Please note that matters concerning intellectual property are not within Wine Australia‘s remit, and such issues should not be reported through the portal.


[1] Effective as of 1 January 2022, overseas food manufacturers must register with the General Administration of Customs China (GACC) as a precursor to the products they manufacture being imported to China. Accordingly, wine ‘production facilities’ handling wine exported to China should self-register through GACC’s Single Window website as soon as possible to avoid export delays or trade disruptions.


This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.