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A guide to wine export from New Zealand to Australia

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Australia is known for its thriving drinking culture, with a love of wine and beer that's constantly evolving. As consumer demand for unique and interesting alcoholic offerings continues to increase, New Zealand has emerged as a top producer of speciality products like crisp-tasting Sauvignon Blanc. With a reputation for quality and innovation, New Zealand's wine and beer industry has piqued the interest of Australian consumers, who are always on the lookout for new and exciting products to try. 

Opportunities for wine sales in Australia

According to Statista, the anticipated yearly increase of 5.36% (CAGR 2023-2027) in Australia's alcoholic drinks market, estimated to reach US$29.90 billion by 2023, underlines the potential for New Zealand wine exporters to broaden their horizons and enter a market that's continuously evolving. Given that Australian consumers crave distinctive and flavourful alcoholic beverages, this represents a profitable prospect for New Zealand wine exporters to highlight the unique features of their products and secure a slice of this expanding market.

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the regulations involved in exporting wine from New Zealand to Australia, don't worry. We're here to guide you through the process, which includes complying with both New Zealand's export regulations and Australia's import regulations. New Zealand's regulations ensure that wine products meet quality standards and are safe for consumption, and wine exporters must familiarise themselves with these regulations to ensure their products comply with all requirements. Read our Australia country guide to find out more about this market and how you can tap on the numerous opportunities it presents.

Alcohol export from NZ

Wine export

Exporting wine involves a five-step process that requires the exporter to fulfil all requirements before the wine is shipped out of the country. Here are the key steps for exporting wine from New Zealand, in accordance with the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI):

  1. Register as an exporter: Wine exporters must register with MPI as an exporter and obtain a unique exporter registration number.

  2. Obtain a wine export certificate: Exporters must obtain a Wine Export Certificate (WEC) from MPI before exporting wine. The WEC ensures that the wine complies with New Zealand's export regulations.

  3. Ensure the wine meets importing country's requirements: Wine exporters must ensure that the wine meets the importing country's requirements, including the mandatory export documentation with the right harmonised codes, labelling requirements and any additional certification.

  4. Transport arrangements: Exporters must arrange for the wine to be transported to the importing country. This includes ensuring that the wine is packaged and labelled correctly for transport.

  5. Provide documentation to MPI: Once the wine has been exported, the exporter must provide documentation to MPI to confirm the export has taken place. This includes providing a copy of the WEC and any additional documentation the importing country requires.

Champagne, liquor, beer, and cider export

To export other fruit-based alcohol, such as liquor, champagne, beer, and mead, wine merchants must follow a different process than grape wine exporters. The following steps apply to exporting these types of beverages:

  1. Register with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and obtain an Export Registration Number (ERN).

  2. Obtain a Wine Export Certificate (WEC) from the MPI. The WEC is required for all wine exports from New Zealand, regardless of volume.

  3. Ensure the product meets all New Zealand food safety and labelling requirements.

  4. Obtain an import licence from the destination country, if required.

  5. Label the product correctly with all necessary information, including product name, ingredients, and country of origin.

Other organic alcoholic beverages export from NZ

Exporting organic alcoholic beverages from New Zealand follows the same process as exporting conventional alcoholic beverages. However, there are additional regulations and requirements for exporting organic products.

  1. Organic certification: The first step in exporting organic alcoholic beverages from New Zealand is to obtain organic certification from a recognised certification body. The certification body will verify that the product meets organic standards and is eligible for export as an organic product.

  2. Record keeping: Wine exporters must keep detailed records of all organic products that are exported, including information on the organic certification, production process, and ingredients used.

  3. Labelling: Organic alcoholic beverages must be clearly labelled as organic, and the label must meet the labelling requirements of both exporting and importing countries.

  4. Importing country regulations: Wine exporters must also comply with the importing country's regulations regarding the importation of organic products. These regulations may include additional certification requirements, labelling requirements, and inspection procedures.

  5. Inspection and verification: Organic products may be subject to additional inspection and verification procedures to ensure that they meet organic standards and are eligible for export as organic products.

Importing wine into Australia

Australia also has its own set of regulations that wine exporters must adhere to when exporting to the country. You should comply with these regulations to avoid potential fines and legal issues: 

  • Australia imposes import taxes and duties on alcoholic beverages, including wine, under the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) and the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

  • The WET is a tax on the wholesale value of wine sold in Australia. It applies to wine grown or produced in Australia or imported into Australia, and is payable by the last entity in the supply chain (usually the wholesaler or retailer).

  • The GST is a tax on the final price of goods and services, including wine, consumed in Australia. It applies to all imported goods, including wine, and is payable by the importer at the time of importation.

  • Wine importers must register with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN) to be eligible to pay WET and GST.

  • Wine importers must also ensure that the imported wine meets certain labelling requirements, including information on the country of origin, the producer's name and address, the type of wine, and the volume of the wine in the bottle.

Begin your wine export to Australia with DHL Express

To succeed in exporting wine and beer to Australia, wine exporters must focus on quality and differentiation. They must highlight their products' unique flavours and characteristics and differentiate themselves from other wine exporters. At the same time, finding the right logistics service provider with experience in shipping wine and beer to Australia and a proven track record of success is equally crucial. 

DHL Express is a trusted logistics service provider in New Zealand that offers wine exporters a comprehensive range of services. From packaging and labelling to transport, customs clearance, and postage, DHL Express can provide end-to-end solutions that ensure your products arrive at their destination on time and in good condition. Building a strong relationship with your logistics service provider is crucial for wine exporters, as it helps ensure that your products are packaged and labelled correctly. Register for a business account with us today if you're in the wine business and want to expand your brand across the Tasman Sea by exporting to Australia. Our team of experts is ready to help you navigate the complexities of exporting and boost your sales.