Urgent alert – EU allergens labelling

Contrary to previous advice, new EU rules relating to allergens labelling will apply to all wine labelled after 30 June 2012.

Wine Australia had previously been informed that 2012 and earlier vintage dated wine would be exempt from the labelling requirement regardless of when labelled, but that is no longer the EU position. Consequently, wine arriving in the EU after 30 June will only be exempt from the requirement to declare the presence of allergens if it was labelled before 30 June 2012.

For wines fined with allergenic substances, it will not be necessary to declare the presence of egg and milk allergens on the label provided the wine has tested negative for the presence of these residual allergens using a technique with a detection limit of 0.25 mg/L (ppm).

The EU is yet to publish a list indicating the languages accepted in each of the 27 member states. Wine Australia’s Export Market Guide to the EU (http://www.wineaustralia.com) includes a list of acceptable languages for the ‘contains sulphites’ statement but it may be unwise to assume member states will accept references to eggs and milk in the same language indicated in that document. Naturally the allergen indication only needs to be displayed in English if the wine is only marketed in the UK and Ireland.

Representations continue to be made to the European Commission stressing the difficulties that Australia (and other Southern Hemisphere countries) will face in complying with this requirement.

Wine Australia has no further information on this matter at this stage. Further updates will be distributed as soon as information comes to light.

On a related matter, Canada’s allergens labelling requirements will take effect for all wine entering the market after 4 August 2012.

For further information, please contact:

Jessica Pater
Compliance and Regulations Manager, Wine Australia
T +61 8 8228 2000 (direct 2057)
F +61 8 8228 2066