Asia-Pacific Regulators Meet to Grow International Wine Trade

APEC Wine Regulatory Forum

OTTAWA, ON – October 19, 2016 – Pacific Rim officials met in Ottawa, Canada to streamline import-export requirements and reduce costs for governments and winemakers. More than 60 wine regulators and wine industry representatives from 14 nations gathered at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Wine Regulatory Forum’s (WRF) 6th annual technical meeting on “Winemaking Practices and International Trade” to share good regulatory practices on wine certification, laboratory analysis and winemaking practices in the important trade region.

The WRF, established in 2008, seeks to eliminate non‐science based testing and certification requirements for wine trade in an effort to increase wine production, expand trade and create jobs. The 2016 conference, the WRF’s sixth annual meeting, focused on eliminating burdensome and duplicative regulations to reduce the costs of cross-border wine trade and increase exports in the growing Asia-Pacific region.

WRF Working Groups made significant progress in Ottawa on harmonizing maximum residue limits set for pesticides used on wine grapes, increasing the efficiency of laboratory analytical testing, advancing international principles for nations to use when establishing wine regulations, and acceptance of a model wine export certificate that can be used in any APEC economy requiring certification.

The 14 APEC economies represented in Ottawa included Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, the U.S. and Viet Nam. In addition, the Argentina and South Africa governments participated as WRF Observers.

APEC’s 21 member economies represent 57% of world GDP and 49% of world trade in 2014. A WRF economic analysis reported in Ottawa that the wine trade and consumer acceptance of wine in the region are growing at unprecedented rates. Between 2006 and 2015, the APEC wine trade increased by 52% and wine consumption increased by 32%.

Canadian Vintners Association President and CEO Dan Paszkowski said the Wine Regulatory Forum “works to assist developing countries in implementing sound, science-based regulations. APEC region requirements, which vary from country to country, can be cost prohibitive for our winemakers. The WRF initiatives advanced in Ottawa will significantly improve trade prospects across the region and deliver substantial savings to grape growers and winemakers.”

The Ottawa meeting, held on October 6-7, was hosted by the U.S. government and the California Wine Institute. Other participating industry groups included the Grupo Cetto/Mexican Wine Council, Japan Wineries Association, New Zealand Winegrowers, Wines of Chile and Winemakers Federation of Australia.

APEC is the premier Pacific Rim economic forum supporting sustainable economic growth and prosperity in the region. Within APEC, the WRF works to assist developing economies in implementing specific, measurable good regulatory practices and to facilitate wine trade in the APEC Region. The WRF, which next meets in Hanoi, Vietnam in May 2017, is funded in part by APEC under a 2013-2018 project co-sponsored by Australia, Canada, Chile, Chinese Taipei, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Russia, U.S. and Vietnam. For more information, visit http://wineregulatoryforum.blogspot.com/.