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Export Market Guide - European Union (EU)

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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All regulatory information for exporting wine to European Union, including the regulatory environment, duties and taxes, and permitted additives.

UPDATE: Compulsory energy, nutrition and ingredient labelling from December 2023

Download our detailed guidance paper for more information (updated 21 March 2024)

Wine Australia hosted a webinar on 21 March 2024 to provide answers to frequently asked questions concerning imminent changes to labelling requirements in the European Union (EU). Legal Counsel Ned Hewitson covered all you need to know about labelling changes for wines exported to the EU from 8 December 2023.

Watch the replay now

European Union Overview

The European Union (EU) is a hybrid intergovernmental and supranational organisation of 27 member countries. It has its own flag, currency and laws and operates a single market with free movement of goods, services and capital. The EU is the world’s largest trading bloc and the world’s largest economy, commanding a GDP over USD$17 trillion per year.1 EU Member States share a customs union, a single market in which goods can move freely, a common trade policy and a common agricultural and fisheries policy.

There are significant differences in per capita income among the 27-member states and the EU is still grappling with high public debt and managing bail-out programs for a number of member states.

The EU is the world's major wine producing region in volume terms, with an annual average production of 167 million litres and accounting for 65 per cent of global production.

The EU has created complex requirements for wines imported from so-called 'third countries' (i.e. any non-EU countries), of which Australia is one. Set out below are guidelines designed to explain those requirements and assist wine exporters. Individual domestic requirements may also apply and can be found under country specific headings. Exporters should be aware that individual EU Member States reserve the right to exercise sovereign legislation in a way which can impact on wine imports, thus imposing additional requirements.

The United Kingdom formally withdrew from the European Union on 31 January 2020. Türkiye, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Bosnia and Herzegovina are candidates to join the EU.

Member states:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Regulatory environment

Enforcement of EU food legislation is carried out by the competent authorities in individual Member States. Oversight of member states’ control systems is the responsibility of the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE), through its Health and Food Audits and Analysis Directorate. EU food legislation consists of ‘Regulations’ and ‘Directives’ and rules for their implementation. Regulations are binding in their entirety and automatically enter into force in all Member States. Directives outline results that must be achieved in each Member State, but the state is free to decide how to transpose directives. The regulatory framework for wine is established under the following basic regulations, delegated regulations and implementing regulations:

Basic regulations

  • EU Regulation 1308/2013 – establishing a common organisation of the agricultural markets.
  • EU Regulation 2021/2117 – amending Regulations (EU) No 1308/2013 establishing a common organisation of the markets in agricultural products, (EU) No 1151/2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs, (EU) No 251/2014 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of aromatised wine products and (EU) No 228/2013 laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union.

Delegated regulations

Implementing regulations 

  • EU Implementing Regulation 2019/935 – as regards analysis methods for determining the physical, chemical and organoleptic characteristics of grapevine products and notifications of EU countries decisions concerning increases in natural alcoholic strength.
  • EU Implementing Regulation 2019/34 – laying down rules for the application of EU regulation 1308/2013 as regards applications for protection of designations of origin, geographical indications and traditional terms in the wine sector.

Other relevant regulations

Bilateral Wine Agreement

The Agreement Between Australia and the European Community on Trade in Wine (Wine Agreement) signed on 1 December 2008 is a bilateral agreement that regulates the trade in wine between Australia and the European Community. The Agreement came into force on 1 September 2010 and replaced the 1994 Wine Agreement.

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

Levy payers/exporters
Non-levy payers/exporters
Find out more

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