Founded in 1998...
the WWTG aims to share information, to collaborate on a variety of international issues to create an environment for the free trade in wine. We are a bi-lingual organization; communication and information is available in English and Spanish. Note that this site can be translated into multiple languages using the drop-down box in the right column.
The WWTG does not have written operating procedures or rules. In general, member countries take turns to chair the Group and its meetings for a twelve month period. Decision-making is by consensus. Meetings feature both joint and separate sessions of the government and industry sections, at which participants share information on matters such as market developments and international trade issues. This information sharing, which is generally very free and open, provides a basis for all discussions of the group.
The industry section often produces agreed statements during their discussions and formally communicate them to the government section at the closing session of the meeting. These statements often generate agenda items and discussions at subsequent meetings of the government section. Governments often conclude their discussions by reporting an agreement to produce various papers prior to the next meeting of the group.
During the meeting in Mendoza, Argentina in March of 1999, the WWTG agreed upon the following objectives and implementation techniques for the group:
- To examine, discuss and create opportunities for opening all wine markets to allow a free movement of goods by eliminating obstacles to trade, whereby members:
- Agree that differences in wine-making practices should not be a barrier to trade.
- Agree that all trade distorting subsidies should be eliminated, not just production subsidies.
- Agree to a reduction of tariffs as a means to develop the wine market.
- To elicit and exchange views on international wine trade through the implementation of cooperation, communication and understanding among the members in the form of information sharing.
- Create opportunities to further joint objectives through meetings, conferences or negotiations.
- Regular sharing of information that is international trade related.
- Participate in meetings to encourage government recommendations and actions that will further the objectives of the group. Whenever possible, coordinate meeting schedules with trade shows or other relevant events to minimize travel.
- Facilitate interfaces between the World Wine Trade Group and governments as a means of achieving open wine markets.
- Utilize existing international organizations to achieve objectives. The World Wine Trade Group will develop advanced positions for presentations at meetings when feasible. These organisations may include OIV, WTO, FIVS, FAO, WIPO, WCO, WHO, Codex, OECD and regional groups such as APEC, and FTAA.
- Reaffirm the role of the WTO and its agreements including TRIPS, TBT, and SPS.
- Maintain relations and cooperation with the Comité Vins of the European Union.
- Ensure that the World Wine Trade Group remains flexible and avoids becoming focused on single issues.
- The World Wine Trade Group should always attempt to achieve consensus, rather than seek a majority opinion.
In its relatively short life, the World Wine Trade Group has proven to be an important force in influencing the regulation of the international wine trade. Beginning with a shared vision and a commitment to open international trade, participating countries have begun to reshape the regulatory environment in which the international wine business operates.
To view full texts of WWTG Agreements click on U.S. government section's website.