CHINA SUSPENDS IMPORTS OF TAIWANESE LIQUORS & BEERS WORTH USD33M
By Tony Zhu
China moved to suspend shipments of Taiwan made beers and liquors last Friday citing a failure by the exporters to comply with a new registration system which has become effective from 1 January this year.
Taiwan government said that the suspension is expected to cost Taiwanese exporters about NTD1 billion (USD32.57 million).
Taiwanese companies including state-own Taiwan Tobacco & Liquor (TTL), Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor, King Car Food Industrial, Taihu Brewing, Legend Brewery and Win Shan International are among the suppliers affected.
The ban has blocked shipments of Taiwan’s most well known alcoholic brands Kavalan Whisky, Taiwan beer and Kinmen Kaoling to mainland China.
Major Taiwan drinks and health supplement brands including Uni-President, Heysong, Vitalon, Taisun, Oceanic Beverage and Nin Jiom were also blocked.
The suspension of beer, liquor and beverage shipments from Taiwan came just two days after the Chinese customs banned imports of certain Taiwan seafood.
Mainland China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokeswoman Zhu Fenglian said on Friday that some of Taiwan’s exporters had failed to provide all of the information required for registration so they were unable to secure approval to ship their products.
She said it is normal for a country to protect its food safety, urging suppliers to provide the necessary information to register.
Taiwan’s finance minister Su Jain-rong, however, blamed the mainland authorities on the suppliers’ failure to comply with the new registration.
"Many of their applications were turned down repeatedly and were asked to give more information. What puzzled these applicants was that China never said why their applications were rejected," Su said.
Taiwan media speculated that these suppliers had failed in their registration because they stated Republic of Taiwan as their origin instead of China Taiwan.
But the real reason for their registration failure is not immediately clear. TTL said it has earlier cleared new registration requirements and until beginning of September, its status was still “valid” on the Chinese customs website, the company has no idea why its status suddenly became “invalid” last Friday.
TTL said the shipment suspension, involving brewing and distillery items, is expected to cost it about NTD1.3m.
Taiwan government has said that they will take the case to the World Trade Organisation.
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