As bulk wine shipments worldwide continue to surge upwards, international, non-governmental organisation OIV has put forward a proposal to redefine the definition of bulk wine. The move is aimed at obtaining more reliable statistics on internal markets and foreign trade. OIV has proposed that subheading 2204.29 - identifying wine in containers of a capacity over 2 litres – be amended.
In 2011 the world bulk wine market was estimated to be in the range of 38 million hectolitres, 38% of the total volume of trade. According to OIV director general Federico Castellucci, this has heightened the need to distinguish between wine actually shipped in bulk from wines shipped to consumers in containers such as bag-in-boxes. During the 44th Harmonized System (HS) Review Sub-Committee meeting at the World Customs Organization (WCO) headquarters in Brussels, Federico Castellucci and OIV head of statistics Barbara Iasiello argued that that the proposed amendment “would improve transparency and clarity to the collection of data required for statistical analysis”. OIV proposes to amend subheading 2204.29 of the Harmonized System HS firstly by increasing the volume of containers referred to in the subheading from 2 to10 litres; two subheadings would therefore be created, one for identifying shipments of wines in containers ranging from 2 to 5 litres and one for containers holding between 5 and 10 litres. Most of the World Customs Organisation delegates came down in favour of the proposal, considering it to be a legitimate request, whilst reserving their final decision on the issue until a forthcoming meeting.