China scraps tariffs on Australian wine

28 March, 2024

The China Ministry of Commerce has announced the removal of tariffs placed on Australian wine imported into China effective from 29 March 2024.

Australian prime minister Anothony Albanese, foreign minister Penny Wong, and trade minister Don Farrell, announced that in turn Australia would drop legal proceedings in the World Trade Organization.

A joint statement read: “We welcome this outcome, which comes at a critical time for the Australian wine industry. The re-entry of Australian bottled wine into the Chinese market will benefit both Australian producers and Chinese consumers.

“This outcome affirms the calm and consistent approach taken by the Albanese Labor Government… we acknowledge and thank Australian grape growers and wine producers for their fortitude and support during a challenging period.”

The tariffs of up to 218.4% were imposed in March 2021when diplomatic relations between the two nations soured after Australia called for a probe into the origins of Covid-19.

Prior to the tariffs, China was Australia’s largest wine export market valued at around $1.2 billion.

In light of the announcement, Treasury Wine Estates has announced that it will begin to expand its distribution in China and increase investment into the region.

“The removal of tariffs on Australian wine exports to China is terrific news and is cause for celebration across the Australian wine industry and with our partners and consumers in China,” said Treasury Wine Estates chief executive Tim Ford.

“It’s testament to the continued stabilising of relations between both countries by the respective governments and the ongoing partnerships maintained between Australian businesses and our Chinese counterparts.

“Treasury Wine Estates has remained committed to China as demonstrated by our continued investment in the market through our local presence with more than 120 team members and partnerships contributing to Penfolds continued strong brand awareness in China. This announcement signals the start of our ramp up to re-establish our Australian luxury and premium wine distribution in China and it shouldn’t be too long before local Chinese consumers have more access to our great wines.”

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