The Food and Drugs Composition and Labeling Regulations require food manufacturers and packagers to label their products in a prescribed, uniform and legible manner. The following information must be marked on the label of all prepackaged food in either English and/or Chinese (if both English and Chinese are used in the label, the name of the food and the list of ingredients shall appear in both languages).
- Product name
- Manufacturer’s name and address
- List of Ingredients - (should be listed in descending order of weight or volume in metric units)
- Additives, if any
- Alcohol content
- Weight and Volume of the product (in metric units)
- Durability period (for alcoholic beverages that have an alcoholic strength of more than 1.2 percent but less than 10 percent)
Please refer to FAS report HK5021 for more information on the code of practice for the labeling of alcoholic drinks: https://apps.fas.usda.gov/gainfiles/200507/146130400.pdf.
GM (Genetically Modified) Food Labeling:
There is currently no labeling requirement for biotech foods or foods containing ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms. Please refer to the FAS Attaché reports for the most recent updates on biotechnology regulations in Hong Kong: https://apps.fas.usda.gov/scriptsw/attacherep/legacy.asp.
Local importers must apply for a license from the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department for the importation of dutiable commodities (i.e. alcoholic beverages). In addition, a licensed importer must apply for a permit for each and every shipment.
The following is a list of the documents that are required when importing into Hong Kong:
- Commercial Invoice
- Packing list
- Pro forma Invoice
- Copy of detention notice (if any)
- Bill of lading, airway bill or other similar document
- Other documents such as import license, removal permits, etc (please consult with an importer for other documents that may be required for your specific product).
When a shipment arrives and before its release, the products will be inspected and if necessary sampled. Once the product has been approved for release, a "release" letter will be issued to the importer.
Please note that the importer is required to lodge an import declaration with the Customs and Excise Department within 14 days after the importation of the goods.
The Hong Kong Government levies no import tariffs. However, domestic consumption taxes (referred to as "duties") are imposed on certain goods, including alcoholic beverages. These taxes are levied equally on local manufactures and imports. The current duties (as of 12/2009) are as follows:
Liquor with an alcoholic strength of more than 30% by volume measured at a temperature of 20C: 100%
Liquor, other than wine, with an alcoholic strength of not more than 30% by volume measured at a temperature of 20C: 0%
All wines: 0%
Methyl Alcohol: *Duty shall be payable on methyl alcohol and any admixture containing methyl alcohol at the rate of HK$840 per hectolitre measured at a temperature of 20C and in addition, for every 1% by which the alcoholic strength by volume exceeds 30%, HK$28.10 per hectolitre.
Please contact the Customs and Excise Department for more information:
Customs and Excise Department
8/F, Harbour Building, 38 Pier Road
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2852-3048
Fax: (852) 2581-0218
For the most current tariffs and taxes applied to imported products for this country, please visit the Online Tariff Database provided by the US International Trade Commission at: https://dataweb.usitc.gov/. Also see the Census Bureau’s Schedule B search function ( https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/schedules/b/index.html), which allows you to classify your product according to United States export codes. Simply click "Search" and enter the keyword (i.e. beer) that best describes your product.
Trade and Industry Department
Agricultural Trade Office
Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department
The information in this guide was obtained from external sources, including the websites of various governmental agencies and organizations, direct contact with those agencies and organizations, and from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Attaché reports. Consequently, the accuracy of this information depends upon the accuracy of the sources.
TTB is not responsible for the content of external websites.
This page was last reviewed on August 17, 2010.