The European Commission has asked European Union (EU) ministers to formally approve a wine trade agreement negotiated earlier this year with Australia.

The agreement will lead to Australia banning the use by Australian drinks producers of established EU market descriptors such as Champagne, Port, Heritage and Lambusco. It also bans future illicit copying within Australia of other EU drinks industry traditional expressions.

The deal also lays down a system for agreeing mutually acceptable oenological practices, and gives Australia wine producers simplified certification procedures for accessing EU markets.

The Commission said late last week that the agreement was "a balanced outcome with clear improvements to the 1994 [EU-Australia wine] agreement benefiting each party".