New deal set to improve wine trade between Hong Kong and Mainland China

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A new agreement designed to shorten the time it takes to send wine exports from Hong Kong to Mainland China has come into force this month.

Image © www.info.gov.hk

The new deal is a supplement to the original agreement, signed in 2010, and has removed the need for importers to be registered on the Chinese Mainland.

This should lead to reduced clearance time at designated mainland ports in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, according to Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.

The Chinese Mainland is Hong Kong’s biggest wine export market. HKTDC statistics show that, in 2013, nearly half of the 19.1m litres of wines exported from Hong Kong headed for the Mainland.

‘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 China under CEPA* and enhanced customs facilitation measures,’ according to a wine industry report published by HKTDC earlier this year. ‘This makes the city an unrivalled gateway to China.’

The 2010 agreement includes measures to ease wine re-export, such as pre-valuation of duty whilst the wines are still in Hong Kong.

With the signing of the new supplement, Hong Kong re-exporters are still required to be registered with the Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department (TID) in order to benefit from these measures.

A new web-based system has also been launched to help Hong Kong exporters meet requirements.

Several local wine merchants expect the deal to bring more efficiency and price transparency to consumers in Mainland China, as well as make cross-border trade easier.

‘The relationship between the wine market in Hong Kong and [Mainland] China has always been key to pricing and demand of all wines, but in particular fine wines,’ James Woodhead, Director of Sales and Merchant Business of Madison Wine, told DecanterChina.com. ‘Simplifying the process can only help the end consumer by increasing efficiency; transparency of pricing and provenance of the wine must improve as a result of these measures.’

Mandy Chan, Director of Central-based boutique wine store Ginsberg+Chan, added, ‘For us as retailers, we often hear from wine producers that they want to crack the Chinese market but they are not sure who in China will best represent them.

‘By making Hong Kong an easier place to export from, those producers may get the best talent to represent them from Hong Kong and now have a more reliable distribution chain.’

*CEPA: Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement

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