- Kosher Wine
- Labeling Requirements
- Required Documents
- Import Procedures
Kosher (Kashrut) certification is not a legal requirement for importing food into Israel. However, non-kosher products have a much smaller market, as most supermarkets and hotels refuse to carry them. It is necessary for importers to apply to the Israeli Import Department before contracting to import kosher wine. Israeli law stipulates that the council of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is the sole authority responsible for determining whether a product is kosher. Many American rabbis are recognized by Israel’s Chief Rabinate to certify kosher wine.
U.S. exporters of kosher wine will need to provide their Israeli importers with the following documents:
- Copies of all labels of the winery which are used outside of Israel for non-kosher wines.
- Copies of the proposed labels for the kosher wine.
- A kashrut certificate from abroad, from the supervising rabbi, indicating: filling date, ingredient list and auxiliary materials used in the manufacture of the wine, description of the manufacturing process
- A declaration by the kashrut supervisor that he has sole responsibility for the labels.
Kosher wine must be produced, stored, shipped, and advertise entirely separately from non-kosher wine.
The Israeli Import Department will not license the importation of kosher wine in bulk. Any food marked with the word "kosher" shall also be marked with the name and location of the person certifying the kashrut.
For information on food labeling and packaging, please contact the Food Control Administration of the Israeli Ministry of Health (see contact information below).
In order for the product to be exported to Israel, exporters must provide a commercial invoice signed by the manufacturer, consignor, owner, or authorized agent. In addition, exporters should check whether other documentation, including a bill of lading or a package list, is required.
In accordance with the U.S.-Israel Free Trade Agreement, U.S. alcoholic beverages may enter Israel duty-free. In order to obtain duty-free treatment, a "U.S. Certificate of Origin for Exporting to Israel" form should be presented to Customs. The certificate needs to be notarized or stamped by a Chamber of Commerce if the exporter is not also the manufacturer.
It is also possible for exporters to apply for status as an "Approved Exporter." An "Approved Exporter" may provide a commercial invoice rather than a certificate of origin for duty-free treatment. A manufacturer or exporter who wishes to become an "Approved Exporter" should complete a declaration form and present it to: Export Department, Israel Customs Service, 32 Agron Street, P.O. Box 320, Jerusalem, Israel. Potential candidates are U.S. firms with total annual exports to Israel of at least $20 million who have an unblemished record with the Israel Customs Service.
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service
Food Control Service
Standards Institution of Israel
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 September 12, 2011