Uncork more HK wine power, urges Chan

Top News | Samantha Wong 13 Nov 2017

Hong Kong has been an international wine trading and distribution hub for years and should consolidate its position in Asia as there is no wine duty and value-added tax in the city, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said on his blog yesterday.

All duty-related customs and administrative controls for wine have been removed since June 2008, which means duty-free wine imports and exports are traded with minimal hassle, making wine more affordable and attractive to buyers, he added.

"With a population of just about 7.3 million, we didn't empty all the 80 million bottles ourselves - about half of the wine imported into Hong Kong was reexported," Chan said.

More than 60 million liters of wine from more than 50 countries and regions were imported last year - with a record value exceeding US$1.5 billion (HK$11.7 billion), which is equivalent to more than 80 million bottles of wine.

Chan attended the Hong Kong International Wine and Spirits Fair that opened on Thursday.

It featured a record 1,070 exhibitors from nearly 40 countries and regions across the world, including a new pavilion from Champagne, France.

Chan said Hong Kong is also home to the world's first wine-storage certification scheme, and boasts a multitalented, multilingual team of wine and culinary professionals from all over the world.

The government announced on Thursday that wine reexported from Hong Kong will have instant clearance in all customs districts in the mainland with immediate effect.

Facilitation measures, which are exclusive for wine entering the mainland through Hong Kong, have been extended from the five designated ports of Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen to all 42 customs districts.

Noting the mainland is the largest market for wine reexported from Hong Kong, the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said with the extended customs measures, the wine community will benefit from more speedy clearance and greater certainty on the mainland.

The extension will support international wine traders in tapping the mainland market by making use of Hong Kong's top-notch business and logistics infrastructure, and further strengthen the city's position as Asia's wine hub.

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