Australia keeps playing field level for New Zealand wine

If your business is facing unjust regulations and rules in foreign markets have you ever thought that maybe they could be challenged? The New Zealand Government is maintaining the focus on barriers to trade and welcomes inquiries from exporters concerned with restrictions affecting their sales in off-shore markets.

Throughout 2016, the New Zealand Government worked with domestic wine producers to protect their eligibility for an Australian wine tax rebate that saves them tens of millions of dollars each year.

Australia drinks more than 80 million bottles of New Zealand wine each year, making it our third largest wine export market.  Wine faces a 29 per cent sales tax but Australian producers were entitled to have that rebated, up to A$500,000 each.

Thanks to the Closer Economic Relations (Free Trade) Agreement with Australia, New Zealand successfully argued in 2005 that our wine producers should be eligible for the Australian wine tax rebate and treated on the same basis as Australian wine producers.

Since then, more than 200 New Zealand wine companies have been claiming this rebate of up to A$500,000 each, equating to about A$25 million each year.

New Zealand’s entitlement to the ‘Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate scheme,’ helps to ensure that our Syrah’s can compete on a level playing field with Australia’s Shiraz’s.

In 2016 the Australian Government announced it was reviewing the entire scheme. New Zealand wine producers, particularly smaller winegrowers, were concerned that access to the rebate scheme might be removed for New Zealand producers and potentially cost the industry millions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade worked closely with the New Zealand wine industry to put forward the arguments that any proposal to exclude New Zealand suppliers would be unfair and we worked to ensure that the new eligibility criteria did not act as a barrier to New Zealand producers.

The Australian Government agreed with our arguments and continues to maintain New Zealand’s access to the Wine Equalisation Tax rebate scheme.

Barriers to trade can affect all forms of goods and services exports, from food and manufactured goods through to digital of other services.

If your business is facing barriers to trade tell the Government about it on They will get back to you within two working days and work out next steps within six weeks.

27 Mar, 2018
| News

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