Non-tariff trade barriers cost Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies and businesses more than $1billion a year due to the complexity and inconsistencies of regulation, the APEC Wine Regulatory Forum has estimated.
Winemakers Federation of Australia strategy and international affairs general manager Tony Battaglene said non-tariff barriers cost Australian wine exporters dearly and prevented others from looking at potential offshore markets as growth opportunities.
The forum held its first meeting in Australia last week with more than 80 regulators from APEC economies and it identified initiatives to help reduce the regulatory burden and stimulate a new era of wine trade across the Pacific rim.
‘‘With different regulations in different APEC economies, exporting can be very costly, sometimes cost prohibitive for Australian wine producers,’’ Mr Battaglene said.
‘‘Our priority is to identify exactly what these inconsistencies and imposts are and then how to overcome them.
‘‘We have agreed to look at regulatory coherence in the region. This ultimately involves harmonising export certification requirements, analytical testing requirements and maximum residue levels.
‘‘Work is progressing in all of these areas and we expect recommendations to be presented at the inter-sessional meeting in Europe next year.’’