China Wine Label and Import Requirements: Your Quick Guide Compliance on Preparing for China Wine Market
In this article, wineries looking to enter China market will find relevant information about wine labeling requirements in China along with required documents required to export your wine into China.
In this article we cover basic points required under labeling, documents needed, licenses, import procedures, taxes and important contacts.
Although pre-approval is not mandatory, China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) can require pre-import analysis if warranted. All imported food is subject to inspection and must receive a clearance certificate by the Customs authority. The following information must be present on the label, in Chinese. Labels are required to be accurate, truthful, and non-misleading. Please note that the label must meet these requirements prior to importation. The Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) and its components is the responsible agency.
1. Name/brand of product
2. Ingredients list (Sweeteners, preservatives and added color — legal in the case of fortified wine only — must be declared) Exempt for products made of one ingredient.
3. Net volume (ml): This should be marked as ‘net content xxx Ml (ml)’ for bottle sizes under a liter, or ‘net content x Liters (l)’ for bottle sizes over a liter. For packages up to (and including 200ml) the minimum print height is 3mm. From 200ml up to and including 1 liter, the minimum print height is 4mm. For packages greater than 1 liter the minimum print height is 6mm.
4. Alcohol content (%): The alcohol statement should be in the ‘Alcoholic strength xx.x% vol’ format.
5. Production date (yy/mm/dd): The date of bottling is required on Chinese labels.
6. Producer/Distributor/Importer (Name and address): The name and address of the Chinese agent, importer or distributor must be shown on the label. The name and address of the producer is not mandatory, however if included does not need to be translated into Chinese characters
7. Country of origin: A country of origin statement is mandatory. Importers will usually request a Certificate of Origin to confirm this claim.
8. Minimum durability date: Wines with an alcohol content of 10% or less are required to include a minimum durability date.
9. Product Type: (i.e. Grape Wine, ‘red’, ‘white’, ‘sparkling’, ‘semi-sparkling, ‘fortified’, ‘sweetened fortified’, etc.)
10. Sugar content (g/L)
11. Mandatory Warning Statements: The following and other warnings must be on the bottle in Chinese: “Excessive drinking is harmful to health” or “Pregnant women and children shall not drink”. For beer in glass bottles also add “Do not hit; it might cause explosion of the bottle”.
1. Commercial invoice
2. Customs Value Declaration.
3. Freight Insurance/documents
4. Packing List
5. Insurance Certificate
6. Certificate of Origin (for distilled spirits and malt beverages only)
7. Certificate of Health/Sanitation (for distilled spirits and malt beverages only)
8. Certificate of Authenticity/Free Sale (for distilled spirits and malt beverages only)
9. Consolidated Wine Export Certificate (for wine only)
Imported alcohol products must have a Certificate of Health/Sanitation, Certificate of Origin, and a Certificate of Authenticity/Free Sale signed, stamped, and dated by a competent authority from the product’s country of origin. TTB’s International Affairs Division (IAD) is the authorized U.S. entity that issues such certifications for China, although Certificates of Origin may be signed by any government entity that can verify the origin of the product, such as a state chamber of commerce. The Government of the People’s Republic of China does not accept Health/Sanitary Certificates issued by the supplier or producer. Further information on obtaining these certificates, as well as a certificate template, is available on the Export Documents/Certificates page.
Please also note that there is a consolidated export certificate that may be used-for wine only-that is approved for use by the Chinese government, and which incorporates all three certificates (Certificate of Origin, Certificate of Health/Sanitation, and Certificate of Authenticity/Free Sale).
LICENSING and REGISTRATION
The Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine Bureau of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) is the competent authority in charge of licensing and registering importers and exporters of alcoholic beverage products entering China.
Effective October 1, 2012, the importer of record (in China) must submit an application to the Exit-Entry Inspection and Quarantine Bureau and register on-line via www.mofcom.gov.cn. The application is reviewed and if approved, the importer is assigned a Serial Number. The importer is then added to a list of approved importers. This list will then be posted on the AQSIQ website.
Effective October 1, 2012, all exporters and foreign agents exporting food to China have to register under China’s 2009 Food Safety Law. There are no fees or wait time for approval of the notification. You must register and obtain a Filing Code (registration number) electronically via this website: http://ire.eciq.cn (bilingual). The registration form can be filled out in English. However, Chinese is required for Section 3 of the form. Section 3 asks for the name, address, and contact information for your in-country trade partner. Fortunately, you are able to cut and paste this information into the required slot. You should have the information available prior to registration.
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