China will temporarily impose antisubsidy fees on some Australian wine imports from Dec. 11, the commerce ministry said on Thursday, ramping up pressure on the industry amid rising tensions between the two nations.
Importers bringing in wines being investigated for Australian subsidy benefits will need to pay deposits to Chinas customs authority, according to the statement.
Australias trade minister, Simon Birmingham, said Australia rejected claims that Australian wine was subsidised.
Australian wine is the secondhighest price point in the Chinese market. And for Australia, its basically our highestpriced market, Birmingham told ABC Radio.
China in August launched an investigation into Australian wine subsidy schemes following a request from the China Wine Industry Association. Last month, it began imposing antidumping tariffs of 107.1 to 212.1 on wine imported from Australia after a separate antidumping probe.
The antisubsidy deposits, of 6.3, will be added to those tariffs for the worlds largest listed winemaker, Australias Treasury Wine Estates, as well as Casella Wines and Swan Vintage. Pernod Ricard will attract a rate of 6.4.
Australian Grape and Wine chief executive Tony Battaglene said the wine industry disputes the subsidy allegation. We dont believe it is substantiated, he said.
Winemakers had already made commercial decisions to divert wine shipments away from China after antidumping tariffs of up to 212 were imposed, with some companies removing wine…