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Hong Kong: an ideal place for wine-related business


Economically:

  • Zero wine duty

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.

Hong Kong: an ideal place for wine-related business

  • No duty-related administrative work

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.

  • Enhanced customs facilitation measures for wine entering the Mainland China market through Hong Kong

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:

 

  • Pre-valuation of wine duty: registered wine traders may request Guangzhou and Shenzhen Customs of the Mainland to conduct wine duty valuation before the shipment is exported from Hong Kong to the Mainland. Guangzhou and Shenzhen Customs will normally complete the procedure within one working day when the shipment arrives; and

  • Expedited customs clearance process: if no pre-valuation has been conducted, Guangzhou and Shenzhen Customs will expedite the clearance process which would require three or seven working days depending on whether the wine is new to the Mainland market. If customs clearance cannot be completed within the said timeframe, the Mainland importers may request for release of goods upon payment of guarantee deposit.

Details can be found at the website of Trade and Industry Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government at www.tid.gov.hk.

  • Zero tariff on importation into Mainland China

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.

Culturally:

  • Experience in wine trading

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.

  • Understanding of Asian cuisine and wine pairing

Hong Kong people understand the wining and dining preferences of Asians. It is a good platform for pairing wines with Asian cuisine.

Logistically:

  • Wine Storage

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.

Wine Storage

  • Manpower training and wine education

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.

 

Manpower training and wine education

  • Enforcement action against counterfeit 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.

 

Enforcement action against counterfeit wine


Hong Kong