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wine bottles stored on side

Joint Statement by The Governments and Wine Industries of The Member Countries of the World Wine Trade Group

Cape Town, 3 July 2002

The World Wine Trade Group (WWTG), formerly called the New World Wine Producers’ Forum, met in Cape Town on 1-3 July to address trends and policy developments in global wine trade.

Sixty senior government and wine industry delegates from the Argentine Republic, Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States of America attended the meeting. Representatives from Brazil and Uruguay attended as observers.

The WWTG warmly welcomed the announcement by the Government of the Argentine Republic that it had decided to formally sign the Mutual Acceptance Agreement (MAA) on enological practices. South Africa is in the process of finalizing its decision on formal signature of the MAA.

The following countries have signed the MAA - Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand and the United States of America.

The decision was taken to change the name of the group to World Wine Trade Group to reflect the focus of the group on facilitating trade in wine. Under the MAA the group has already agreed to mutually accept the winemaking practices of the other parties to the agreement.

In pursuing its objective of removing unnecessary trade restrictions, the WWTG discussed elements of a labelling agreement that would benefit consumers and facilitate trade in wine. It was agreed that the technical working group would continue this work and present a draft labelling agreement at the next meeting.

The WWTG expressed concern over the new European Union (EU) wine labelling regulation that may negatively impact on wine exports to the EU. WWTG members raised concerns over the consistency of the new regulation with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

The next meeting of the WWTG will be held in the Argentine Republic later this year.