Council's proposal for a new EC/Australia wine Agreement

The Council has put forward a Proposal for a Decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and Australia on trade in wine. This new document, which would replace the 1994 Agreement, aims to facilitate and promote trade in wine originating in the Community and in Australia.

As soon as the 1994 Agreement entered into force, further bilateral discussions were held on the basis of a built-in requirement as regards the phasing out by Australia of certain EC wine names. It was on the basis of the Council conclusions of October 2000 concerning bilateral wine Agreements that these discussions were replaced by negotiations for a new Agreement.

These negotiations have been concluded and a new draft wine Agreement between the EC and Australia was initialled by both Parties on June 5th, 2007.

This new Agreement will apply to wines falling under heading 22.04 of the Harmonized System of the International Convention on the Harmonized Commodity, Description and Coding System.

Under this Agreement, importation and marketing of wine between the EC and Australia, unless otherwise specified, will be conducted in compliance with the laws and regulations applying in the territory of the importing Contracting Party. Besides, the Contracting Parties will take the measures necessary to ensure that the obligations laid down by the Agreement are fulfilled and will ensure that the objectives set out are attained.

In order to comply with the requirements and objectives of the Agreement, an oenological practice process or compositional requirement used for the production of wine, will have to meet the following standards:

  • The protection of human health.
  • The protection of the consumer against deceptive practices.
  • Meeting the standards of good oenological practice outlined in the text.

Those standards of good oenological practice, involve:

  • To be not prohibited in the laws and regulations of the originating country.
  • To protect the authenticity of the product by safeguarding the concept that the typical features of the wine arise in the grapes harvested.
  • To take into account the region of cultivation, and in particular, climatic, geological and other production conditions.
  • To be based on a reasonable technological or practical need to, among other things, enhance the keeping qualities, stability or consumer acceptance of the wine.
  • To ensure that the processes or additions are limited to the minimum necessary to achieve the desired effect.

Besides the the rules applying to the oenological practices, the Annexes of the Agreement also specify the geographical indications which are covered by the text, the traditional expressions of each Member State which are relevant for the purposes of the Agreement , as well as the categories of wine and sales descriptions or quality wine terms, their conditions of use and wine type to which they apply.

The draft Agreement would also contain a list of vine varieties or their synonyms that contain or consist of a Community GI that may appear on the labelling of wines originating in Australia, and the definition of certain production methods.

The Contracting Parties will not, under their domestic legislation, impose conditions less favourable than those provided for in this Agreement or in their domestic legislation in force as at the date of signature of this Agreement, in particular:


  • Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation Act 1980, and subordinate legislation,
  • Trade Practices Act 1974,
  • Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code.


  • Title V and Annexes VII and VIII of Council Regulation (EC) No 1493/1999 on the common organisation of the market in wine,
  • Commission Regulation (EC) Nº 753/2002 laying down certain rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) Nº 1493/1999 as regards the description, designation, presentation and protection of certain wine sector products.