APEC Wine Regulatory Forum
The WRF originated in 2002, when WWTG members recognized the potential trade facilitation benefits of collaborating with APEC regulators.
Though the region’s wine trade has increased steadily, so too have unnecessary trade barriers. (Such wine-related non-tariff barriers reportedly cost APEC economies and businesses a combined total of $1 billion/year.) WWTG members believed that eliminating burdensome and duplicative requirements in the APEC region would reduce the costs of cross-border wine trade, stimulate demand, and increase sales, particularly for small and midsize enterprises.
To address this problem, in 2008 in Peru, APEC’s Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC) endorsed the establishment of the Wine Regulatory Forum with the goals of:
- Examining options to simplify and harmonize wine regulation across the APEC region, reduce technical barriers to trade and protect consumers; and
- Sharing information and building capacity in wine regulation across the APEC region.
2011 -- “Seminar in Key Issues in Wine Regulation” (San Francisco/Livermore, California, U.S.)The inaugural WRF meeting, in September 2011, was attended by more than 100 government officials and international wine industry representatives, who explored opportunities to reduce unnecessary impediments to trade, including streamlining regulatory import-export requirements. The regulators shared best practices on wine certification, analysis, winemaking practices and labeling in the APEC region.
The two-day meeting, hosted by the U.S. and co-sponsored by Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Peru, included delegations from Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The meeting was an important step for government officials from throughout the region to build confidence in each other’s regulatory systems and to work with industry to eliminate unreasonable and duplicative requirements. For more information, see the press release for this event. The presentations for this event are also available online.
Left to Right: Michael Moore, New Zealand Ambassador to the U.S.; Sirma Karapeeva, New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries; Julia Doherty, Senior Director at the U.S. Office of Trade Representative, APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance chair; Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute.
2012 – “Dialogue on Risk Management in Wine Trade” (Auckland, New Zealand)In November 2012, New Zealand hosted the second WRF meeting, with more than 60 regulators and wine industry representatives from 16 Asia-Pacific economies participating. The Dialogue focused on two key themes: wine trade and its risks; and coordinating approaches to certification. Economies gained a greater understanding of wine as a low risk product from a food safety perspective, calling into question the value of and need for multiple certification requirements based upon relatively few risk factors. Among the key points discussed were:
- Furthering work on regulatory alignment to reduce multiple and overlapping certification requirements
- The importance of a focus on appropriate risk management, given the low risk profile of wine in terms of food safety
- The value of international standards setting bodies in supporting international collaboration and trade efforts
- Ways of supporting collaboration between industries and regulators across the region.
Future WRF Work
The WRF is building on the recommendations from the 2011 and 2012 meetings to assist developing economies to implement specific, measurable good regulatory practices in 2013-14. Through hands-on annual technical assistance activities hosted by member economies, WRF will enhance the capacity and knowledge of regulators to increase their ability to efficiently protect the health and safety of consumers and facilitate trade in the APEC region.
APEC was established in 1989 in response to the growing interdependence of Asia-Pacific economies and the advent of regional economic blocs in other parts of the world. It fosters growth and prosperity by facilitating economic cooperation and expanding trade and investment throughout the region. APEC’s member economies today account for 55% of global gross domestic product and 44% of world trade, and comprise a market of 2.7 billion consumers. For more information, see the APEC website.
Related Press Coverage
September 22, 2011
Kane's Beverage News Daily Volume 7, No. 157
Asia-Pacific Wine Execs Meet to Smooth Trade
With some officials estimating that different and sometimes conflicting regulatory schemes result in unnecessary costs of about $1 billion a year, officials from the U.S., Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Peru, included delegations from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam met yesterday in San Francisco to discuss ways to develop an open market and streamlined regulatory environment.
At the meeting's close, Julia Doherty, Senior Director at the U.S. Office of Trade Representative and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation workshop Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance chair, summed up the themes which emerged and suggested ways in which the governments and wine community might reduce barriers to trade including eliminating unnecessary export certificates, participating at the Codex Alimentarius Commission and World Wine Trade Group and developing a forward looking plan that involves increased information sharing on regulatory developments among APEC economies.
Robert P. (Bobby) Koch, President/CEO of Wine Institute,which represents more than 1,000 California wineries and affiliated businesses, said, "This historic meeting brought wine regulators from key Pacific Rim markets together for the first time to focus on ways to reduce the time, cost and uncertainty of moving goods throughout the region."
September 25, 2011
Press Democrat.com (Santa Rosa) - Viticulture Briefs
Delegates discuss wine trade in Pacific Rim Wine regulators from 18 Asia-Pacific governments met in Northern California this week to discuss building the wine trade in the Pacific Rim.
More than 100 officials gathered at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation workshop to discuss reducing impediments to trade. They also shared best practices on wine certification, analysis, winemaking practices and labeling.
The two-day meeting, sponsored by the United States, Australia, Chile, New Zealand and Peru, included delegations from China, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.