Hong Kong has removed all wine duties since February 2008. With no Value-Added Tax (VAT) or General Sales Tax (GST), Hong Kong is the first free wine port among major economies.
All duty-related customs/administrative controls for wine have been removed since June 2008, which means duty-free wine importation and exportation with minimal hassle.
Hong Kong is the only place in the world that has entered into an agreement with the Mainland Chinese Government, allowing wine imports to go into the Mainland under enhanced customs facilitation measures. These include:
Hong Kong and Mainland China agreed on Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) "Rules of Origin", which allows wines manufactured in Hong Kong to enjoy zero tariff from January 1, 2011 on the importation into Mainland China.
At present, there are two companies in Hong Kong producing wines (8th Estate and Portrait Winery) by making wines from imported grapes in a factory building. Other companies have indicated interests in setting up similar business in Hong Kong.
With over 40 years of experience in wine trading, Hong Kong has in-depth knowledge of the industry and the necessary network with vineyards/wine-producing areas.
Hong Kong people understand the wining and dining preferences of Asians. It is a good platform for pairing wines with Asian cuisine.
Wine traders may choose to store their wine in reliable storage facilities to ensure the quality of the wine as an investment stock is preserved. With the assistance of the Government, the industry and the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency launched the Wine Storage Management Systems Certification Scheme, the first of its kind in the world. The Scheme has been enthusiastically supported by the industry, with a total of 38 fine and commercial wine storage facilities, wine storage facilities in wine retailers and wine transportation service providers accredited as of March 2013.
To facilitate the further development of wine-related businesses in Hong Kong, the Government will continue to foster close liaison between the industry and the training institutions in assessing the longer-term manpower needs and mapping out the best way to meet such needs, covering personnel ranging from sommeliers to frontline staff involved in logistics and warehousing. Responding to rising market demands, public as well as private training institutions are enriching or expanding their wine appreciation courses and developing enhanced manpower training programs.
In 2014, an International Cuisine College is set up to provide training on food and wine pairing, wine appreciation and other wine-related matters. The School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Hong Kong has partnered with a French institution to launch the first Master of Business Administration’s program in Hong Kong on wine.
Hong Kong Customs is constantly vigilant against possible counterfeiting activities. To help prevent the entry of counterfeit wine into Hong Kong, Customs officers carry out continuous risk assessments and, as necessary, inspections of wine imports at control points.
Hong Kong Customs has also formed an alliance with the industry and strengthened liaison with overseas and Mainland enforcement agents to facilitate swift exchange of intelligence on counterfeit wine and prevent the import, export and sale of counterfeit wine.