China will temporarily impose anti-subsidy fees on some Australian wine imports from Dec. 11, the commerce ministry said on Thursday, ramping up pressure on the industry amid rising Australia-China political tensions.
Import operators bringing in wine being investigated to determine whether it has benefited from Australian subsidies will need to pay deposits to China's customs authority, according to the statement.
Australia was aware of the decision, trade minister Simon Birmingham's office said, but declined to make any further comment to Reuters after China's announcement.
China in August launched an investigation into Australian wine subsidy schemes upon a request from the China Wine Industry Association. Last month, it began imposing anti-dumping tariffs of 107.1% to 212.1% on wine imported from Australia after a separate anti-dumping probe.
The anti-subsidy deposits will be added to those tariffs.
Canberra, however, views China's moves against Australian wine as part of a pattern of punitive trade measures since Australia called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
This year China has imposed tariffs on Australian barley and suspended meat imports, and Chinese importers were told to expect customs delays across seven categories of Australian products from coal to seafood from November.