Australia and NZ secure UK free trade agreements

Both the Australian and New Zealand Governments have announced free trade agreements with the UK that will eliminate import tariffs for Australian and New Zealand made wine.

Australian Grape & Wine CEO Lee McLean welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement of 31 May as the date of entry into force of the Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement (A-UKFTA), following the expected completion of United Kingdom (UK) domestic processes.

“The UK is Australia’s second largest export market by value at $359 million, and our largest by volume with 208 million litres of wine exported to the UK to March 2023,” McLean said.

“For wine, the Agreement will see the elimination of import tariffs on entry into force. This creates a level playing field for Australia’s wine exports with our major competitors from Continental Europe.

“We estimate the tariff elimination represents a saving of approximately AUD $50 million per year for the Australian wine sector, although a decline in exports in recent months in line with changing market conditions in the UK may reduce this figure.

“Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are a major contributor to improving export market access and removing barriers to trade. These are now more important than ever with the Australian grape and wine sector’s continued prioritised efforts to grow and diversify our export markets.”

New Zealand winegrowers welcomed the similar agreement for New Zealand made wine, describing the agreement as “positive” for the local industry.

“[The UK Free Trade Agreement] will more closely align the winemaking standards across the two countries, and help reduce technical barriers to trade, by minimising burdens from certification and labelling requirements on New Zealand wine exports. It will also support future growth in the market, and encourage exporters to focus on the UK,” said Sarah Wilson, General Manager of Advocacy and General Counsel at New Zealand Winegrowers.

“The UK is New Zealand’s second largest export market for wine, with exports valued at over NZ$470 million last year. UK consumers appreciate the distinctive flavours, commitment to quality, and know New Zealand wine is a unique product that they can trust.”

“This agreement is especially significant at a time when we are facing increasing costs across the industry, and it will make a big difference for those who export to the UK market.”

“We thank Ministers and officials for their support and conduct of ongoing negotiations over the past few years, during what have been challenging and uncertain times.”


Are you a Daily Wine News subscriber? If not, click here to join our mailing list. It’s free!