Ministry of Commerce finally scraps 200% tariffs on Australian wine

Chinese wine drinkers can look forward to the imminent return of their favourite Australian red wine labels like Penfolds and Clarendon Hills, as the Chinese government has finally agreed to end punishing import tariffs on wine in place since 2020.

The news is even more of a relief to Australian winemakers, who have been dealing with an oversupply roughly equivalent to 2.8 billion bottles of wine. Australian wines have garnered a reputation as luxury wines in the Chinese market, and Chinese consumers account for 40% of Australia’s wine exports.

The 200% import tariffs were the result of a feud between the nations that began when Australia led calls for an international inquiry into the origins of COVID-19 in April 2020. China has denied the move was intended to punish Australia, claiming instead it was an anti-dumping measure. Consistent with this, when announcing the end of the wine tariff, the Ministry of Commerce said it was due to “changes in the market situation of the relevant wines in China”.

China-Australia relations have been slowly thawing since the arrival of the new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in May 2022. Albanese and Xi agreed to normalise diplomatic relations back in November, in what was the first visit by an Australian leader to China in 7 years.

Just hours after the wine tariff announcement, the Australian government publicly confirmed the visit of China’s foreign minister Wang Yi to Australia next week – also his first time to the nation in 7 years.


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