China lowers VAT tax for imported wine

The Chinese government has announced that it will lower the country’s VAT tax from the current 17% to 16% for imported goods, which is expected to boost China’s wine imports, especially for countries such as Australia and Chile that have signed Free Trade Agreements with China.

The new policy was announced by the State Administration of Taxation in early April, and will take effect starting from 1 May.

The adjustment of only 1% will bring the total taxes for imported wine, including import tariff, VAT and excise tax, down from the current 48.2% to 46.93%*.

Countries such as Australia, Chile, Georgia and New Zealand, for instance, will further benefit from the move since import tariffs on wines from these countries have already been reduced and eliminated completely.

“Cutting down tax is of course a good thing. If tax is down by 1%, which means overall tax is down by 1.27%. If I take into consideration sales profit, this actually helps reduce costs. It help wine companies to reduce costs,” a wine merchant called Yu Hongjie, was quoted as saying by Wine Business Observer.

However, the drop is insignificant, and wine prices in general have been going up not down, which means, for end consumers, the benefit is perhaps limited.

“In theory, the tax rate has indeed been reduced, but costs of wine are always growing. Its benefits for wine importers are therefore limited, so too for end consumers,” He Xiaolong told the Chinese news outlet.

Imported wines to China, if without any FTA preferential treatments, are now subject to 14% import tax, 16% VAT and 10% excise tax.

*Calculation method:
Import tariff  = CIF (or C&F) price x 14%
Excise tax =  [ (CIF + import tariff ) / (1 – 10%) ] x 10%
Value-Added Tax = (CIF + import tariff + Excise Tax ) x 16%

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