17 Dec 2018

Auckland exporter convicted over false wine exports

8:35 pm on 17 December 2018

An exporter has been fined $6000 for falsifying documentation on wine destined for Ireland.

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Photo: 123rf

The Ministry for Primary Industries prosecuted Joyce Austin, the sole director of New Zealand Boutique Wines.

She was contracted by small wineries and advised clients to label uncertified samples as wine that had already been certified for export.

She was convicted and fined in the Auckland District Court for the offending between March 2013 and May 2014.

Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) manager of compliance investigations Gary Orr said she knew she was breaking the law and while the volume of wine - 45 cases - was not large, the offending was significant.

"Every wine exporter has a duty to ensure their operations do not contravene any relevant requirements of the Wine Act," he said.

"They must only export wine which meets correct standards and specifications and overseas market access requirements. This includes only exporting wine which complies with the export eligibility requirements.

"The wineries involved received formal warnings from MPI as it was determined that they had, until that point, been compliant and were acting on professional advice from Joyce Austin who misled them over the legality of what she was asking them to do."

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