Wine Storage Management Systems Certification Scheme in Hong Kong
- Since the removal of all wine duties in 2008, there has been a significant growth in demand for wine storage facilities in Hong Kong.
- To enhance the confidence of users (such as traders and collectors), a non-profit-distributing body in Hong Kong and one of the leading third-party certification bodies in the region, namely the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) launched in December 2009 a scheme for accrediting wine storage facilities which meet certain international standards.
- The scheme has been developed in partnership with the industry and with the support of the Hong Kong Government. It is said to be the first of its kind in the world. It covers two categories, namely fine wines and commercial wines respectively. The certification requirements include adequate control of storage conditions such as temperature, humidity, lightings and vibration, as well as management plans on performance measurement, monitoring and review.
- The specifications for certification have been drawn up with the guidance of independent experts such as wine educators, consultants, insurance agents as well as industry representatives. HKQAA has also made reference to international research and practices, and visited different key wine storage facilities and wine producers in the UK, France and the USA to understand more about overseas operations in the wine industry.
- The scheme has been well-received so far. To fortify Hong Kong's position as a regional wine trading and distribution hub, HKQAA is extending the accreditation scheme to cover other activities in the wine supply chain, such as wine retailers/hotels/restaurants, and will consider extending it to cover also transportation.