Despite reports that Australian wine imports into China have been banned or suspended, Australian Grape and Wine CEO Tony Battaglene has told The Shout that is definitely not the case.
There is confusion over the status of wine imports, with some importers recommending wine not be sent to China and some shipping companies refusing to take wine, but Battaglene said those are commercial decisions and there is no official ban in place.
“Confusion reigns supreme,” Battaglene told The Shout. “There are no clear messages.
“What we do know is that some importers are telling exporters not to send product, but not all. We know that product has arrived in China in the last couple of days and that product is going through enhanced customs procedures.
“There are increased checks and testing being demanded by the Chinese authorities. We haven’t heard of any shipments being blocked or stopped, it’s just these increased clearance procedures.
“But I haven’t heard of anything yet that has actually cleared these enhanced procedures.”
Battaglene said he didn’t think that an official ban would be imposed, but because there hasn’t been notification of wine clearing the procedure the situation is unclear.
He added: “At the moment we don’t know the extent of the problem we just know that at the moment there appear to be delays, but there is no official ban.”