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Serbia-China FTA slashes tariffs on Serbian wine

The China-Serbia Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which came into effect on 1 July, will see tariffs on Serbian wine imports to China reduced to zero within five years.

Serbia-China FTA slashes tariffs on Serbian wine

Signed on 17 October 2023, the FTA between China and Serbia took effect on 1 July.

As part of the agreement, both countries will eliminate tariffs on 90% of taxable goods. Tariffs on Serbian wine will decrease by 20% annually, reaching 0% in five years.

The current import tariff on small-packaged wines and sparkling wines made from fresh grapes is 11.2%, according to China’s Ministry of Commerce.

This is compared to a typical 14% tariff rate for these products in China, VinoJoy has reported.

However, even with zero tariffs, China still imposes a 13% value-added tax and a 10% consumption tax on wine.

Today, Serbia has some 20,100ha of vineyards across 22 wine regions incorporating 77 wine districts.

Close to 60% of the country’s vineyards are planted with white wine varieties, a colour which is gaining traction among Chinese consumers. As tastes develop and consumer knowledge grows, we could be heading for a white wine revolution in the country.

During a session at this year’s Vinexpo Asia trade show entitled ‘Roundtable with Industry Titans: Insights into the Future of China’s Wine Market’, Xiao Pi, a Chinese wine influencer and e-commerce retailer based in Shanghai, noted that what white wines make up 40% of the wine sales on his e-commerce platform.

Having launched the platform in 2018, Pi has seen the rise of white wine in China firsthand. Read more about the rise of white wine in China here.

Serbia grows as many as 200 varieties, though the top 10 account for more than two-thirds of plantings.

Wine is just one of many goods which will see a reduction in tariffs. Over 60% of taxable goods will benefit from zero tariffs immediately after the FTA goes into effect, China’s Ministry of Commerce said at the end of last month.

The tariffs on over 95% of products will be gradually reduced to zero, the Ministry added, according to Chinese government news agency Xinhua.

Electric generators from Serbia, electric motors, tires, beef and nuts will all also benefit from exempted tariffs in China, the Ministry said.

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