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Chinese Back Label I – Specifications and Its Legal Impact

September 19, 2016


 As most Chinese wine drinkers don’t understand English or other foreign languages of those major wine producing countries, i.e. French, Spanish, Italian, ... etc.  A proper and well-prepared Chinese back label is important to deliver the essential information of a wine so to appeal the potential customers, not to mention this is also a basic requirement by the Chinese regulatory bodies.


It is by law, if without a properly-prepared-and-made Chinese back label, the imported wine could not be shelved and sold on any retailed outlets (e.g. supermarket, wine shops, … etc.).  It might associate to many issues and concerns like quality (genuine or fake product), logistics (legally imported or smuggling), … etc.


It also has the possibility that the seller will experience serious penalty and economic loss should the Chinese back label not be well-made according to the set specifications and norm.  In China, there is a “refund and indemnify” rule, the consumer (buyer) could sue the retailer (seller) for such irregularity, then the consequence would be, the seller needs to make full refund and be penalized to indemnify a maximum 10 times of the purchase amount to the buyer should any non-regulated Chinese back labelling found and proofed by the buyer (unfortunately some people make their living (or fortune) by professionally conducting as a private watchdog on this kind of irregularity).


Below is the basic information must be included in the Chinese back label: a) title (the name) of a wine; b) raw materials and ingredients; c) alcohol by volume (%vol); d) type of wine (dry red, semi-sweet rosé); e) Producing country; f) net volume (in ml); g) bottling date; h) shelf-life (no need if ABV more than 10%); i) storage condition; j) agent/ importer/ distributor’s title, address and contact (telephone or fax number, or an email address); k) warning message.


Some may notice from the above mentioned content, the rule does not demand to specify who is the producer, what are the grape varieties, its vintage year, geographical indication, best serving condition, tasting note, food-pairing advice, etc.?  All these are among the most important and appealing elements to a wine enthusiast, and are also the origins which would connect loyal customers and lead to repeated orders.  ChinaWineBusiness.com would further communicate in our next article: Chinese back label II – Its Marketing Impact to explore solutions to our international winery customers.



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