Chinese customs reject foreign wines on quality grounds

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Official reports show that excessive preservatives and copper in imported wines are among the top reasons for Chinese customs to reject during the first half of 2015.

Source: General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China

Forty-nine batches of wine were rejected by Chinese customs during the first six months of 2015, among which 20% were due to excessive sorbic acid and 18% were due to excessive copper, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ).

Before being allowed to enter China, imported wines are sampled and examined by the quarantine authorities against mainly the national standard of wine (GB15037), the general standard for the labelling of pre-packaged foods (GB7718), as well as the standard for fermented alcoholic beverage and their integrated alcoholic beverages (GB2758). The time needed for the process varies depending on every local customs.

The national standard of wine states that no more than 200 mg/L of sorbic acid, a widely used type of preservatives, should be found in wine. Traces of copper should be no more than 1.0mg/L. Officials have not stated the exact amount of copper and sorbic acid found in the wines. But, excessive intake of sorbic acid is believed to inhibit bone growth and excessive copper in food may lead to heavy metal poisoning.

Of the wines rejected, 29% were from Spain, 12% from France and 8% from both Portugal and Argentina.

Source: General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China

35% of the rejected wines were destroyed, with the rest being returned to the origin.

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