Wine to Poland
Trends and opportunities
Poland’s growing wine market offers long-term opportunities for Australian
exporters. Poland has a large adult population of 31.5 million and it is
expected that wine consumption will continue to grow among current and
Current annual wine consumption is estimated to be 4 litres per capita.
This is relatively low and offers considerable upward growth potential with
Polish consumption being behind Western European wine consuming standards that averages
over 40 litres of still grape wine per annum.
According to Wine Intelligence Compass 2015-16, Poland is the 19 th (Australia 8th) most attractive wine market in the
world and has potential for growth. Total wine consumption in Poland is
half the size of the Swedish wine market, but larger than Norway, Ireland and
Wine production in Poland remains limited with 153 wineries legally
registered in 2016 and 221.943 hectares of land under vine. Domestic
production represents less than 1% of total wine sales.
With a large adult population of over 31.5 million people and increasing
wealth, Polish consumers are discovering wine. Wine consumption in Poland is
forecast to grow at 5% per annum.
Ninety percent of wine is imported. Wine imports to Poland reached over EUR
234 million in 2016. Australian imports account for around 2% of total
imports. It’s important to note that this value is most likely understated
due to wine shipments passing through customs in neighbouring EU countries.
There are over 800 companies with a wine import licence.
The wine market is not yet saturated and there is still space for exporters to enter and help
grow the market.
There are significant opportunities for Australian exporters with wines
already available in European warehouses.
Wine consumers in Poland have considerable choice with brands from every
wine producing country available on the market. In addition to bottled
Australian wine, consumers can buy bulk wine bottled locally or in Europe.
The number of Australian wines represented on the market has grown
significantly over the last decade.
Imports from Italy, US, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Chile were the
highest in 2016. As much as European wines are in demand due to proximity
and a growing number of Polish tourists to those countries, in case of US, Chile and
other countries their sales are high due to intensive promotional
activities run in Poland by those countries or wine regions.
Tariffs, regulations and customs
It is important to comply with legal requirements as not providing the
required documentation could result in the shipment being held at the
border and financial penalties. Please verify with the
importer or with Austrade if you have any concerns.
Since joining the European Union (EU) in 2004 the applicable duty tariffs for Poland
are the same as in other EU countries and can be found on
Besides duty tariffs there are two main taxes applicable to wine in Poland:
Value Added Tax (VAT) like GST in Australia and excise tax.
VAT in Poland on wine is 23%.
The excise duty is an indirect tax charged on some product types including
alcoholic beverages. In the case of wine the assessment base is the number
of hectolitres (hL). The rate is PLN 158 per hL.
Ministerial regulation is being drafted to remove excise tax banderols requirement and hopefully will take effect in early 2018. Before this
occurs this requirement is still in place and excise tax banderols need to
be attached to each bottle prior to arrival in Poland unless they are being
delivered to a bonded warehouse. The winery is responsible for attaching
the banderols on the bottles if there is no other arrangement in place with
A banderol is a stamp proving that the taxes have been paid and the company
has the right to sell it in Poland. The banderol is different for each type
of alcoholic beverage category. Beer is the only alcoholic beverage that
does not require a banderol.
Wine is also subject to sanitary border controls. The body responsible for
the import of such goods is obliged to notify the proper border sanitary
inspector no later than 48 hours before the planned imports.
The State Sanitary Inspection, The State Agricultural and Food Inspection
Authority, have to the right to request samples of imported wines.
Marketing your products and services
When considering Poland, Australian wine exporters seeking long-term
success need to consider a number of factors, such as: the offer itself,
commitment, distribution and compliance with import/export regulations.
A willingness to visit the market to participate in wine tastings is
desired and highly appreciated. Participating in annual tastings such as
the annual tasting organised by Wine Australia, Austrade or those organised
by importers provide an invaluable opportunity to present your wines
to importers, promote your wines if you are already present in the Polish
market, obtain feedback from local wine professionals and consumers and
gain new customers.
Experience shows that exporters committed to the market and provide more
support to their importers leads to higher sales. There are
various methods of supporting importers depending on the importer's
distribution strategy. Popular activities include:
- Dinners and tastings with visiting winemakers or winery representatives
- Supporting brand recognition by participating in Australian tastings
- Hosting visiting wine writers
- Participating in important international and national industry events
- Industry masterclasses
- Organising tastings for influencers.
The marketing budget or equivalent in samples is expected by importers to
be around 5% to 10% of the order value.
Importers look for wine exporters who want to establish a long-term
presence in the market and are not only looking to make a quick sale. They are keen to
build sales and brand awareness in partnership with the brand owner.
An importer’s distribution channel will determine which wines in terms of
price point and volume will be sold. In addition to the import
licence, a distributor requires a wholesale trade and/or retail sale
It is important to ensure that the potential importer holds an import
licence when starting initial discussions and before sending wine samples.
Sales volume objectives, together with the positioning of your product,
will be key factors when considering suitable distribution channels. Some
major retail chains source wine directly from overseas or domestic wine
suppliers to increase efficiency in distribution. In recent years,
retailers with a large number of stores are starting to import wine
directly to reduce distribution costs, but will only sell these wines in
Common distribution structures are:
- Importers to wholesalers to retailers or the HoReCa industry
- Importers owning their wine speciality shops and/or wine bars
- Major national wholesalers (supermarkets and discounters) importing directly
Wine can be shipped directly to a Polish port or to one of the main
European ports in Germany or Holland and then transported inland via road
At the beginning of discussions samples are usually required. The common
practice is to send samples by courier. If required Austrade can assist
with customs clearance.
Links and industry contacts
Polish Sommeliers Association
Polish Association of Wine Importers and Distributors
Agricultural Market Agency (ARR)
Polish Customs Office
Polish Ministry of Finance
State / Chief Sanitary Inspectorate
Please note: This list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only. The content is for information and carries no warranty; as such, the addressee must exercise their own discretion in its use. Australia’s anti-bribery laws apply overseas and Austrade will not provide business related services to any party who breaches the law and will report credible evidence of any breach. For further information, please see foreign bribery information and awareness pack.
The Australian Trade and Investment Commission – Austrade – contributes to Australia's economic prosperity by helping Australian businesses, education institutions, tourism operators, governments and citizens as they:
- develop international markets
- win productive foreign direct investment
- promote international education
- strengthen Australia's tourism industry
- seek consular and passport services.
Working in partnership with Australian state and territory governments, Austrade provides information and advice that can help Australian companies reduce the time, cost and risk of exporting. We also administer the Export Market Development Grant Scheme and offer a range of services to Australian exporters in growth and emerging markets.
For more information on how Austrade can assist you
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