Wine connoisseurs in the Pacific Rim have reason to celebrate with the introduction of a new all-in-one export certificate that reduces costly red tape for businesses seeking to tap burgeoning wine trade opportunities in the region.
The APEC Model Wine Export Certificate, approved by regulatory and trade officials from APEC member economies, will make it simpler and more efficient to trade wine between them by consolidating their existing certificate requirements into a single certificate usable across the region. Focus now turns to supporting implementation of this voluntary, incentive-based measure.
“APEC’s new model wine export certificate will reduce administrative burdens for producers endeavoring to take advantage of the increasing taste for wine in the region,” said Rocío Barrios Alvarado, Chair of the APEC Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance, which administered its development.
“The measure will allow for the bundling of export certificates for traders of wine that are currently required by individual APEC economies and frequently cover areas like product origin, authenticity and health and sanitation,” explained Barrios Alvarado, who is also Executive President of Peru’s National Institute of Quality.
The value of wine trade between APEC economies has more than tripled to over USD 23 billion since 2000. But businesses in the sector incur an estimated USD 1 billion in costs annually due to the emergence of unnecessary non-tariff barriers, with multiple, overlapping export certificates for wine imports contributing considerably to this total.
“The APEC Model Wine Export Certificate is a win-win for the industry and the bodies that regulate it,” said Jamie Ferman of the United States Department of Commerce, the public sector overseer of the APEC Wine Regulatory Forum—a collaborative public-private initiative leading this and broader efforts in APEC to reduce wine trade barriers.
“Adoption of the model certificate will enable regulators to shift scarce resources currently used to review and stamp wine certificates to higher risk food products,” Ferman noted.
Enhanced regulatory regimes and trade in wine made possible by the APEC Model Wine Export Certificate could also build greater choice for consumers and stronger economies in the region.
“Easier, more inclusive wine trade can improve product availability and prices for consumers and improve job creation and growth,” said Tom LaFaille, International Trade Counsel for the Wine Institute, private sector overseer of the APEC Wine Regulatory Forum.
“Simplified wine trade procedures and lower compliance costs targeted by the model certificate could provide a significant industry boost, particularly among smaller, more resource constrained producers,” LaFaille continued. “Implementation of the model by interested APEC economies will help to further realize the industry’s potential.”
The use and scope of the APEC Model Wine Export Certificate is at the discretion of the importing APEC economy. Moreover, certification requirements in APEC economies imposed by previously agreed upon free trade agreements, economic partnership agreements or other types of agreements are not affected by the APEC certificate.
Moving forward, the region’s economies will be requested to indicate whether they have adopted the certificate in lieu of pre-existing requirements. This builds on a parallel initiative under which APEC economies provide twice-yearly updates on their regulatory requirements for wine, including export certifications, for publication on an industry database.
The APEC Model Wine Export Certificate and its instructions are available at this link (see far right side and scroll down to "Downloads" section).
Next steps will be discussed during the next APEC Wine Regulatory Forum meeting in Ottawa, Canada in October.