How to Import Organic Japanese Tea to Hong Kong
Hong Kongers can’t begin their day without having their first cup of tea in the morning. Where coffee is consumed majorly in America, Hong Kong is all about tea. This country of seven million people can’t seem to function without it, and one might say that if you want to learn about the local cuisine of Hong Kong, you have to understand its tea first. Seeing the importance of tea in Hong Kong, it’s about time that you should introduce organic Japanese tea into the ever-growing tea market. But, how can Hong Kong import this fine type of tea?
What is Japanese Tea?
Japanese tea is one of the finest quality teas that emerged on the surface in the 8th century. Its herbaceous flavors and palate-soothing taste are why people prefer Japanese tea over any other kind of tea. The reason behind the success of Japanese tea is the process through which it’s being manufactured, and that is the steaming process. The leaves of the Japanese tea are steamed to preserve the taste and quality of the tea.
Japanese tea is being consumed by 72.3% of Japanese on a daily basis, while 89.6% of the people need a dose of this exuberant drink once or twice a week. That is why it has scored a place on the list of most consumed beverages in the world.
Brief History of the Exportation of Japanese Tea
Indeed, the production of Japanese tea started in the 8th century, but its large-scale exportation started in the late 1900s. Over 15,000 tons of Japanese tea were exported to various countries, including the United States. However, with the onset of coffee and Chinese green tea, the demand for organic Japanese tea took a drain. Moreover, many youngsters from the tea farming families stopped producing organic Japanese tea because they started to move out of the fields and into major cities. This limited the production of organic Japanese tea, thus; its lower varieties.
However, even with the limited number of varieties, huge amounts of organic Japanese tea are being exported to the United States, European countries, and many more. Because of the ever-increasing demand for tea, Hong Kong needs to start importing organic Japanese tea as well. But, how?
How to import organic Japanese tea to Hong Kong?
To import organic Japanese tea to Hong Kong, you’ll need to follow certain rules and regulations. These rules and regulations are put in place to ensure the food safety of seven million people currently residing in the country. In this country, the legal framework of the control of food safety is portrayed by Part V of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132) along with its subsidiary legislation. According to this legal framework, no food can be sold within the premises of the country that is unfit to consume by the citizens and put their health at stake.
As Japanese tea is an organic yet processed product, you need to follow the guidelines of importing processed foods to Hong Kong. According to this, you have to first register your business or company with the Hong Kong government and it is advised you should register your business once every three years. Next, you have to get an Import License from the control authority or regulatory body in Hong Kong and that is the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. The Import License is only valid till 6 months from the date of issue. Even if you import products in several and separate consignments, you can use the same import license till it’s valid.
Other than the import license, there are certain other clearance documents that your control body will require for inspection of your products, and those include:
- Copy of detention notice
- Declaration form
- Other supporting documents such as airway bill, bill of lading, packing, invoice, etc.
Your control body can ask for these documents when your products arrive in the country. Keep in mind that you have to provide all the information correctly and at the mentioned time. If you fail to provide the documents at the specified time, you can trigger a fine. If your goods are worth over HK$20,000, you’ll receive a fine worth HK$40-200 per declaration item. If you provide any kind of false information, it can trigger a fine of HK$10,000. If you go beyond this and incur heavier breaches, you can even risk imprisonment along with the cancellation of your licenses and registrations.
Business Registration Number
If you want to operate your business successfully in Hong Kong, you will need a Business Registration Number (BRN) that is issued by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) of the country. A business number is a unique 8-digit number that is present at the front of your BR Certificate. The BRN appears as 33333333-XXX-XX-XX-X.
BRN is actually your Tax Identification Number (TIN), and it is highly important when it comes to handling several government agencies at the time of filing annual returns. Thus, it is essential to have a BRN for your business to prove that it is a legal entity in the country and you make tax payments regularly.
Besides the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, is there any other control body present in Hong Kong?
Yes, there are several other control bodies or regulatory authorities present in Hong Kong that can issue your import license.
- Agriculture, Fisheries, and Conservation Department
- Civil Engineering and Development Department
- Customs and Excise Department
- Department of Health
- Environmental Protection Department
- Hong Kong Police Department
- Marine Department
- Office of the Communications Authority
- Radiation Board
- Trade and Industry Department
Is organic Japanese tea a dutiable product in Hong Kong?
No, organic Japanese tea isn’t a dutiable commodity in Hong Kong. The country offers a free port, i.e., there will be no customs tariffs on the imports as well as the exports. Thus, while importing organic Japanese tea, you will not pay any duty tax or custom tariff.
What are the import declaration charges in Hong Kong?
The import of the food items to Hong Kong is HK$0.2 per declaration, irrespective of the value of the consignment or the goods you imported.
What are the legal requirements to get a business registration number in Hong Kong?
According to the Hong Kong Companies Ordinance, your business must possess the following three things in order to get a business registration number.
- Director (must be an individual)
- Shareholder(s) having a shared allotment of at least 1 share
- Company Secretary
What is the fee for a business registration number in Hong Kong?
As of April 1st, 2019, IRD decreased the one-year fee of BRN from HK$2,250 TO HK$250. Similarly, the fee of three-year BRN fell down from HK$5,950 to HK$3,950.
Tea lovers are on a high roll in Hong Kong, and they always want to try something new. Undoubtedly, tea rules in Hong Kong, and this would be the right time to give something more flavorsome and exotic to the palate of Hong Kongers. Organic Japanese tea will be something that everyone in the country will crave because it has the perfect balance of color, beauty, flavor, and quality. Therefore, if you want to make your business successful, you need to start importing organic Japanese tea to Hong Kong. But, there are certain rules, regulations, and guidelines that you’ll need to follow.
Need Assistance on Japanese Tea Importation?
This shipping and importation of Japanese tea in your country have been a long-standing service that we offer. Therefore, if you are interested in Japanese Tea importation either as a business or you simply want to have a taste of quality, authentic Japanese tea, you may contact us through this website, and we are more than happy to assist you. Click here to contact Green Tea Merchant.
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