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Licensed B.C. grocery stores can now stock imported wine on their shelves

Click to play video 'Small Okanagan wineries worried the new trade agreement may hurt them' Small Okanagan wineries worried the new trade agreement may hurt them
WATCH: Small Okanagan wineries are worried the new trade agreement may hurt them

Wine aficionados picking out a bottle from one of B.C.’s grocery stores licensed to carry the beverage on their shelves may soon notice a little more selection.

Last week, the B.C. government amended regulations that had, until now, allowed only B.C. wines on the shelf.

READ MORE: B.C. government will no longer be allowed to block U.S. wines from grocery store shelves

That rule, in place since B.C. began allowing the sale of wine and cider at select grocery stores in 2015, had ruffled feathers internationally — particularly in the U.S.

Those 2015 regulations allowed grocery store sales under two models: wine-on-shelf or store-in-store.

There were at least 29 stores in B.C. offering wine-on-shelf, which, until July, had limited the sale to B.C.-made products but allowed customers to take their bottles through the store’s regular checkout.

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Last May, the Trump administration requested a World Trade Organization dispute resolution panel to rule on what it called “discriminatory” trade practices around U.S. wine.

WATCH: B.C.’s wine industry expressing concern over new trade agreement (Aired: Oct. 1, 2018)

Click to play video 'B.C.’s wine industry expressing concern that the new trilateral free trade agreement may hurt it' B.C.’s wine industry expressing concern that the new trilateral free trade agreement may hurt it
B.C.’s wine industry expressing concern that the new trilateral free trade agreement may hurt it

Last fall, during negotiations over the revised North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada agreed to phase the policy out by Nov. 1, 2019.

READ MORE: B.C. wine now available in Tsawwassen Save-On-Foods

The B.C. government implemented the change on July 8, via an Order in Council amending the province’s Liquor Control and Licencing Regulation.

Under the changes, licensees may opt to carry all domestic and imported wine (including cider, mead and sake).

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-With files from Richard Zussman