The wine merchant licence was introduced to licence businesses that contribute to the Queensland wine industry in a substantial way, without the operator necessarily having a vineyard or winery of their own.
A person's business will contribute, or does contribute to the Queensland wine industry in a substantial way if the person:
- buys fruit grown in the state and makes it into wine in the state (other than at the person's licensed premises) or has the wine made under the person's direction on the premises of another wine maker in the state
- grows fruit in the state that will later be used to make wine but until that time buys fruit to make wine
- blends different wines to create a unique wine in the state.
A person's business will not contribute, or does not contribute, to the Queensland wine industry in a substantial way merely if the person:
- buys bulk wine from outside the state and bottles it in the state
- sells only wine made and bottled by other persons.
Under the authority of a wine merchant licence, wine may be sold to patrons:
- for tasting on the premises as a sample
- for consumption off the licensed premises (takeaway)
- with approval, for consumption on the premises other than as a sample.
The standard trading hours for a wine merchant licence are 8am to midnight, Monday to Sunday.
A licensee can apply for extended trading hours on Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day. For more information read Guideline 20: Wine licence trading hours on special days.
A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.
Under the Wine Industry Act 1994, an approved wine nominee is required if an individual holds more than one licence or if the licensee is comprised of more than one person (e.g. corporation).
Note: A wine merchant licence may have only one nominee.
Fit and proper person
All liquor licensees must meet the criteria outlined in Guideline 07: Fit and proper or suitable person.
This licence will remain in effect until cancelled or surrendered; however, fees for this licence need to be paid annually.
An annual fee is payable at the beginning of each financial year for a wine merchant licence. An annual fee notice is issued one month before the fee is due.
The OLGR credit card payment authority form can be used for credit card payments of all OLGR fees.
OLGR will not
accept credit card details by fax or email, including PDF attachments. If an
email is received with credit card details, it will be deleted immediately and
your form will not be processed. This is in accordance with the Payment Card
Industry Data Security Standard.
Application for a wine merchant licence
Annual fee for wine producer licence or wine merchant licence
Application for transfer of licence
Application for extended trading hours (one-off or permanent) (Wine Industry Act)
Application for interim licence
Inspection of register
Application to allow consumption of wine on the premises for wine merchant licence
Application for each nominee for existing licence or additional or replacement nominee
To apply for a new licence you must submit the following to the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR):
Form 2: Application for a wine merchant licence
Form 5: Personal details schedule (wine licensing)
all required attachments
In addition to the above, all applicants must undergo a criminal history and other relevant probity checks to hold a wine licence. You may also be required to advertise your licence application.
Note: If you do not submit all items correctly, OLGR will not process your application. Applications for new licences take at least 2-3 months to process. Applicants should be aware that lodgement of the application is no guarantee that the application will be granted.
Once your licence is granted you can pay your annual fees and manage your details using OLGR's client portal.
An annual fee is payable at the beginning of each financial year for a wine merchant licence. An annual fee notice is issued one month before the fee is due. Fees must be paid by the due date or the licence will be automatically suspended, and then cancelled after 14 days if the fee remains outstanding.
Complete Form 9: Application for endorsement of condition of licence to apply for the variations to your licence conditions:
approval to allow consumption on premises
approval to sell wine other than licensee's wine
variation of existing licence condition.
Additional licences or permits
Once you hold a licence, you may also apply separately for any of the following permits or extensions to your licence:
If you want to transfer your interest in the business to another party, you must submit the following to OLGR:
Form 3: Application for transfer of a licence (wine)
Form 5: Personal details schedule (wine).
All transfer application requirements must be lodged as soon as possible. It may take 6-8 weeks to establish whether the applicant is a fit and proper person to hold a licence.
The new applicant has no authority to sell and supply wine until a transfer is approved and the new applicant has become the licensee. The outgoing licensee must maintain complete control of the premises until the application has been decided, otherwise the premises should cease trading until such a time as an authorised person is in control.
An interim licence may be granted under the following circumstances:
the licensee is bankrupt
the licensee has died
the licensee is a company, and a person has been appointed to manage or wind-up its affairs
a guardian, administrator or manager has been appointed over the estate of the licensee.
OLGR may only grant an interim licence if satisfied that the applicant is a suitable person to hold the licence.
Licensees are required to provide details from their records in an annual return. Annual return forms are forwarded to licensees in June each year and must be lodged at the same time the annual fee is paid.
For more information see 'Records' part 6, section 14 of the Wine Industry Regulation 2009.
Department of Justice and Attorney-General
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation
Wine Industry Act 1994 (Queensland)
Wine Industry Regulation 2009 (Queensland)
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