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Export of wines and spirits: the Chinese opportunity

Article
8 February 2021
11 minutes of reading

Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, the world has seen a decline in global merchandise trade flows. Closure of borders, confinement, unavailability of labour, rules of distancing have led to successive crises in the transport industry: bottlenecks in warehouses and at customs, container crisis, etc. What about the Chinese market in this context?

For the IWSR, an analyst of alcoholic beverages on the world market, China is one of the most dynamic countries in the world in terms of wine consumption. French wines hold a place of choice. In this pandemic context, should we continue to bet on China as a destination for its wines? If so, how to export to this country whose functioning, language, culture, regulations are so far from ours? The situation of the wine market in China In the world of wine, producers felt sharp drops in sales, and consumption in the Middle Kingdom in 2020 was also at half mast with around -30% on imports. But the recovery is rapid in China , which deconfined in mid-2020. If it is not yet comparable with a western market, the wine market in China is becoming more mature . Consumption habits are becoming international with the new generations and are now reaching second and third tier cities; undeniable proof of the westernization of lifestyles. The consumption of wines and spirits for personal pleasure is a new trend. The rapid growth of this segment suggests an increase in sales and the expansion of the supply structure. What business opportunity for French winegrowers? So, if in 2019 - result of the Sino-Australian free trade agreements - Australia robbed us of the place of first importer of wines in China, the opportunities remain beautiful and very present for French winegrowers. Since the end of 2020, after months of strong political tensions between the two countries, China has imposed customs duties and anti-dumping surcharges (107 to 212%) on wine imports from Australia. On the other side of the Atlantic, the recent introduction of customs duties by the Trump administration is closing the American market a little more to French wines and spirits. All these considerations converge: for French winegrowers, China must once again be considered a priority . A necessity even. Own regulations B to B shipments remain subject to traditional regulation. Exporter and Importer must be licensed and declared to Chinese customs. Wines and spirits must be registered prior to shipment. For the customs declaration or when importing: certificates of analysis , origin, purity, packing list and commercial invoice are required. The products must be labeled in Chinese either in France, or before customs, or in the customs area. Chinese regulations are very changing , sometimes vague , often hard to understand – not all documents are always translated. It is essential to ensure the support and assistance of a local contact, to avoid blockages at customs and unnecessary costs . Your trademark registered in France is also not protected in China and it is strongly recommended to register your trademark in China , in the original language and in Chinese characters. A local agent is required for this. 2020 The year of e-commerce The health situation has pushed online consumption to new sales records . In China, the shift towards e-commerce increased a few years ago. Today B to C sales directly from abroad are becoming commonplace transactions . Many brands take advantage of this sales channel with highly simplified administrative restrictions and advantageous customs duties compared to traditional imports. B to B to C imports in bonded buffer stock are becoming just as common. Your export solution to China Vignoblexport has founded a partnership exclusively dedicated to the export of wines and spirits to Asia to support you in your development projects. This Chinese structure, named EWS Imports Shanghai , has an import license which allows us to take care of all your customs formalities . Our on-site presence (office in Shanghai), with a dedicated team, makes it possible to organize tasting events . It accompanies Chinese contacts – importers, distributors, trade fair organizers, etc. It also makes it possible to store wines without customs clearance as long as they are not sold on Chinese territory and re- shipped to another Asian country. In the offices of Vignoblexport in France , our customer service supports French winegrowers who wish to export to China .

Do not hesitate to contact us to study our support solutions for your development projects in China .  
SENDING WINE TO CHINA: WHICH CHANNELS ARE POSSIBLE? Regulatory obligations vary depending on the channel used (B to B, B to C, B to B to C). Download via your Vignoblexport extranet : > Our "China" country sheet with all the useful information for a shipment in good and due form. > Our “Export to China” checklist so that you don’t forget anything when sending your shipment.  
Photo credit: © Lauritta - stock.adobe.com Writing: Aurélie Jeannin / Philippe Duong

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