Pact boosts wine exports to China

Saturday, May 21, 2011
Issue 1312, Page 3
Word count: 283
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A cooperation agreement between Macau and China was signed yesterday which will significantly simplify customs clearance procedures of bottled wine exported to the mainland through the Hengqin border.

According to the protocol, local exporters will be able to benefit from the new arrangement after registering with the Economic Services Bureau.

The customs clearance of bottled wine will be cut from seven to 10 days, to three to seven days. If a company applies to the Customs for pre-tax assessment 10 days prior to export, the clearance procedure may even be completed within one day.

Director-general of Macau Customs Service, Choi Lai Hang told reporters the arrangement will first be implemented in Hengqin Port, and may be extended to other major cities on the mainland such as Zhongshan after six to nine months.

“The wine market in mainland China is huge and expanding,” Choi said.

The official statistics showed that Macau’s import of wine reached MOP 1.4 billion and export was also valued at MOP 100 million in 2010, both reported a growth from 2009.

Chairman of the Macau Importers and Exporters Association, Tsui Wai Kwan said the agreement will ‘significantly boost the export volume’ of wine to the mainland and provide increased business opportunities for the local companies.

Tsui said Macau mainly imports bottled wine from France and Portugal.

“It’s an important step for Macau to achieve economic diversification,” he added.

On the other hand, Choi disclosed that the Customs Service plans to increase its personnel by one thirds, or 400 to around 1,600 in the second half of this year. The expansion he explained is in response to the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge and the extended opening hours of the Border Gate checkpoint.

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