Exporting

Wine Australia's regulatory activities are aimed at preserving Australia’s internationally recognised reputation for quality and integrity.

Wine Australia's regulatory activities

Wine Australia's process for controlling the export of Australian wine is focussed on auditing both exporters and producers, supplemented by analysis of random samples of their products.

Importance of a compliance regime

There are two major reasons for the establishment of any wine regulatory system:

  1. To protect consumers; and
  2. To ensure a fair trading environment for producers and exporters.

A robust and enforceable compliance regime is essential for supporting the sector's promotional efforts. A scandal involving the misrepresentation of the provenance or composition of wine would potentially damage Australia's reputation for producing quality wines with truthful labels. Not all wine producing countries share the reputation enjoyed by Australia. It is critical to maintain this competitive advantage.

Australia is increasingly recognised as an abundant source of regionally distinctive wines made from an array of both traditional and recently introduced grape varieties. Maintaing the integrity of region and variety claims has never been more important.


Export steps and certifications
A summary view of the steps required for exporting wine, including licences, permits and product registrations
Forms and templates
Get a complete list of forms and templates available for download.
Export Market Guides
All regulatory information for exporting wine and grapes to different countries, including the regulatory environment, duties and taxes, and permitted additives.

Frequently asked questions

Export process

Q
What is the process for exporting wine from Australia?
A

There are three main steps you need to follow.

  1. You will need an export licence. You can get further information here, or access the online application form here.
  2. Once you have a licence, we will send your login details for the online Wine Export Approval (WEA) System. Each product you want to export must be registered. The form for this can be found here.
  3. When you are ready to ship your products, you will normally need a shipping permit. You can apply here. Exemptions apply in limited situations. You can find out more here.
Q
What are the requirements for obtaining an export licence and how much does it cost?
A

Wine Australia considers a range of criteria when determining whether to grant an export licence. You can read them here. A list of the fees associated with exporting is here.

Q
Are there any other exporting requirements?
A

Wine for export must meet Australian regulations relating to labelling and composition. It’s important to familiarise yourself with our Compliance Guide. Some markets have additional regulatory controls. You can find out more in our market-specific Export Market Guides.

Q
How do I ensure my shipment is processed in time?
A

You should apply for your Shipping Permit at least 10 working days before the relevant cut-off date to ensure it is processed in time. Import Certificates can be issued at any time after departure and before arrival in the destination port. Please note that we attend to all applications in the order they are received, not the date that they will be shipped/received.

Q
Can I export bulk wine?
A

Yes, the export process for bulk and bottled wine is the same, although the import process may vary. However, if an offshore packaging facility does not meet the standards expected by the Australian wine sector, Wine Australia retains the power to prevent shipments to that facility.

Q
I was on an overseas trip recently and saw my wine being sold in a country to which I have never exported. Does this mean the wine has been counterfeited?
A

Not necessarily. There are more than 2,000 licensed wine exporters. Each can export wine that they have purchased in Australia provided they satisfy our export controls.

Q
I do not make wine but buy it in bulk from a winery, store it for a time, then send it to be bottled with my label. What records do I need to keep?
A

Australia’s Label Integrity Program requires all suppliers and receivers of wine (and grapes) to keep records of the transaction for seven years. The records must identify from whom the wine has been received and to whom it is despatched. This is to enable traceability of the wine through the supply chain. So you need to keep a record of receiving the wine from the winery and despatching the wine to the bottler. Similarly the winery needs to keep a record of despatching the wine to you and the bottler must record receiving the wine from you (and despatching it back to you when packaged). Details of the information that must be recorded for each of these transactions can be found on the Label Integrity Program page.

Q
I have heard that Australia has a number of Free Trade Agreements in place with other countries. Does this help me export wine to those countries?
A

At the moment there are ten FTAs in force between Australia and other countries, and more are being negotiated. Most of these provide for the import tax (the tariff) that is payable on Australian wine to be lower than the tariff applied to wine from other countries. To benefit from the lower tariff it is usually necessary to obtain a certificate demonstrating the wine is of Australian origin. Wine Australia is authorised to issue the certificate that is needed to obtain the preferential tariff in China. You can obtain the certificate by going to the Forms and Templates page.

Q
How long is a Certificate of Analysis or VI1 Certificate of Analysis valid?
A

It is the responsibility of exporters to ensure the Certificate of Analysis and VI1 Certificate of Analysis (where applicable) is correct and current for any products that are being exported.

To avoid potential shipment delays, a new Certificate of Analysis and VI1 Certificate analysis (where applicable) should be submitted to Wine Australia every 12 months for active products.

In the case of non-vintage products or bulk shipments – where differences in returned analytical values are as a result of re-blending, or a new blend being put together or purchased – a new Certificate of Analysis or VI1 Certificate of Analysis alone will not be sufficient and a new product registration will be required to be submitted for that blend.  

Q
When I blend an additional volume of a product that is already registered and has shipped before, do I register the product again?
A

Yes. Each new 'batch' of wine must be registered, whether the composition remains the same or differs. It’s important to ensure that the blend composition is completed as accurately as possible (and is supported by winery records) when filling out the product registration form.

Labelling

Q
I want to use the name of a grape variety on my label. Where can I find the names that I am able to use?
A

In general, you can only use the name of a grape variety, or a synonym, if it is on the “authorised grape varieties” page. If the name you wish to use is not on the list you can apply to Wine Australia for it to be added.

Q
What are the Name and Address requirements for labelling?
A

Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (ANZFSC) it is mandatory to have a name and address for the ‘supplier’ on your label at the time the wine is sold or exported. The 'supplier' can be the manufacturer, importer, packer or vendor. The address must be a physical address, PO boxes are not acceptable.

There is no requirement for the term ‘produced by’ to be used in relation to the supplier. In fact, if the supplier did not physically produce the wine, it could be misleading

Q
Can I export cleanskins to be labelled overseas?
A

Yes, under the following conditions. If bottles are to be sold individually, all mandatory information must be on each bottle. If the wine is to be sold in unbroken cartons, allergen statements must be on each bottle but the rest of the information can be on the outer casing.

Q
How do I know what I can and can't put on a wine label?
A

Certain words and phrases are not permitted in the presentation and description of a wine unless the wine is entitled to use them. The Register of Protected GIs and Other Terms (the Register) has further information. There are four sections: Geographic Indications (GIs), Traditional Expressions (TEs), Additional Terms and Quality Wine Terms.

Both Australian and international GIs are listed on the Register. To use a registered GI on a wine label in any context (including in the address), the labelling must comply with the blending rules.

Q
What are the labelling requirements for exports?
A

It is mandatory to include all of the following items on the labels of exported wine goods:

  1. indication of the true nature of the product (e.g. ‘Wine’ or ‘Wine Product’)
  2. alcohol statement
  3. volume statement
  4. country of origin statement
  5. ‘supplier’ name and address
  6. standard drinks
  7. allergen statement, and
  8. lot identification.

Please see page 8 of our Compliance Guide for information about how these must be displayed. It is important to note that most export markets will have their own labelling requirements in addition to the above mandatory requirements. For further information, refer to the relevant Export Market Guide for your destination.

Q
Where can I find information about grape varieties and labelling?
A

Wine Australia maintains a list of permitted grape variety names and synonyms for varieties. What is listed on the label must meet the requirements of the Blending Rules. Including a variety in any context (even as part of a 'blurb' on the back label) is taken to be a claim and you must be entitled to make such a claim for that wine.

Q
What does 'SEA' mean?
A

‘SEA’ is an abbreviation for ‘South Eastern Australia’, a multi-state Geographical Indication (GI) that covers a large part (but not all) of the grape-producing areas in Australia. The Australian GI system comprises states, zones, regions and sub-regions. All GIs and their legal boundaries are listed here. If the fruit for a wine is sourced from different regions, it can only claim a distinct region if the composition complies with the Blending Rules.

Country import requirements

Q
What import certificates will I need?
A

Documentation requirements vary between export markets. For specific, up-to-date information refer to our Export Market Guides.

In markets where Australian wines receive preferential tariff treatment (for example, China through the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement), you will generally require a Certificate of Origin to verify that your wine is from Australia.

Other certificates, such as a Certificate of Free Sale, may be required to verify that the wine complies with Australian law. You can find information about what forms are required for what countries in our Export Market Guides

See the Forms and Templates section for templates of these certificates.

Q
Where do I access information about individual country requirements?
A

Our Export Market Guides include information on import procedures, duties and taxes, labelling requirements and wine standards for more than 30 countries. Additionally, you should confirm import export market requirements (for example, packaging) with your importer. 

The Wine Australia Export Market Guides are available to licenced exporters and Wine Grapes Levy Payers at no cost. Online and downloadable options can be accessed by signing in or signing up to the Wine Australia website. 

If you are not a Wine Grapes Levy Payer or not yet an exporter but wish to access the guides, please contact us at exports@wineaustralia.com.

Q
Where can I find information about the Chinese AQSIQ online registration requirement?
A

Wine Australia is not involved in this process, but we provide some information in the Chinese Export Market Guide. For assistance with AQSIQ online registration please contact your Chinese agent. 

Q
I know the alcohol tolerance in Australia is 1.5 per cent. Is it different in other markets?
A

Yes. The permitted alcohol tolerance varies from one market to another, and may depend on the product itself – for example, the tolerance for fortified wine in Australia is actually 0.5 per cent. You can see a market-by-market break down here, and, for further information, it’s best to check the Export Market Guide for the relevant export market.

Q
What are the permitted additives for wines and their respective limits?
A

Wine standards differ across different countries. The best way to find the limits for additives or other parameters (for example – Sulphur Dioxide, Volatile Acidity, or the sweetness category your wine fits into) is to consult the Export Market Guide for the market you are looking to export to. The guides also cover the labelling requirements. Remember, your wine must first meet Australian (domestic) standards in order to be granted a permit for export. These can be found in the Compliance Guide.