Imports leave Chambers with Fine Beer Fine
By Andrew Starke
Chambers Cellars owner, Steven Chambers, says his staff will need to be more vigilant after his bottle shop chain was fined for failing to correctly label a number of imported beer brands.
The liquor retailer had obtained the beer through parallel importing but some were either missing labels or were labelled to conform to the requirements of the original country of distribution.
“We will just have to take it on the chin,” Chambers told TheShout of his $8000 fine and likely appearance later this week on the NSW Food Authority’s ‘name and shame’ list.
The imported beer in question is believed to have included Heineken, Carlsberg, Miller and Peroni.
Parallel importing is a contentious issue in the local liquor trade as it allows smaller players to deal directly with overseas suppliers, making them less reliant on local suppliers like Foster’s, Lion Nathan or Diageo, and often able to pass on good deals to their customers.
However these heavyweights of the domestic market counter by arguing that parallel importing can result in sub-standard products reaching the consumer.
Chambers said he would continue to explore importing opportunities but would ensure that staff closely inspected all products and are provided with stickers to be added to non-compliant labels to ensure local standards are met.