On March 29, 2018, the leaders of WABA and a number of interested parties met in order to discuss a number of initiatives that are in accordance with the stated purpose of WABA. The symposium included a range of topics including increasing the convenience of customs clearance, promoting the circulation of global alcoholic drink resources, and increasing the international trade level of China’s alcohol industry. Part of the discussion included some issues in the customs clearance of New Zealand wines, which led to the suggestion of creating a pre inspection and quarantine platform that would facilitate the speed and efficiency of taking product into the Chinese market. The attendees included the Deputy Chairman of WABA and counsellor of the State Council and former Deputy Director of the State Administration of Import and Export Inspection and Quarantine Ge Zhirong, Secretary-General Chen Zeming of WABA, Secretary-General Wang Junbing of the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association, and jin MAO chairman Zhao Xingui,Guizhou Provincial Liquor Association Vice Chairman , former Director-General Guo Lisheng, deputy director Fang Qiqiong, Doctor of WABA Yang Quan held a symposium at the China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association.
New Zealand was the first country to sign the WTO accession agreement with China. However, when WABA contacted many New Zealand wine merchants, they expressed certain frustrations regarding the entry of wine into China. According to the investigations made by the Secretariat of WABA, there are indeed some challenges regarding the importation of wines at some customs clearance points. Firstly, bulk wines must provide ‘unopened proof’ to enjoy the preferential tariff-free trade agreement between China and New Zealand. Many customs clearance companies did not tell exporters to prepare this in advance, resulting in delays in entering Chinese customs due to lack of ‘unopened certificates.’Secondly, some customs clearance companies in China have sought various reasons to claim that individual drink inspection projects did not meet the requirements and therefore must pay certain fees in order to ‘solve’ these problems. Thirdly, foreign exporters are frequently unclear regarding the requirements of Chinese customs. Some of the customs clearance companies are not professional enough to provide all the specific information. Thus goods arriving in China Customs are held up due to missing documents, which leads to expensive delays. Fourthly, some wines stay in the open air in Chinese ports for an extended period of time, which can damage the wine. Some exporters, in addition to paying a storage fee of $100 per day per container, may also choose to pay a high warehousing fee and transshipment charges to transfer the wine to a constant temperature warehouse belonging to the transportation company. This greatly increases the cost of the wine.
To solve these problems systematically, piloting the customs clearance facilitation system in New Zealand is deemed to be worth considering. The Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine and WABA can set up a pre-inspection platform in New Zealand to guide wine exporters in preparing relevant documentation in accordance with the requirements of China Customs in order to export the wine. Pre-examination and improvement of export conditions will enable New Zealand wines to enter the Chinese market more smoothly and competitively. The Chinese people will also be able to drink high quality, inexpensive New Zealand wines, and then promote them in some countries around the world to boost the global wine industry ‘Customs clearance’ efficiency.
After the meeting, WABA and the relevant person in charge of the New Zealand Embassy in China jointly negotiated to promote the related work. The current state of the project is progressing smoothly.