Update: decanter.com reports on Customs investigation of wine importers

By Jim Boyce

A March 18 decanter.com story reports that ASC Fine Wines has denied it faces a major fine and deportation of company directors due to under-declaration of duties.

Decanter cites a post on jancisrobinson.com, in which Simon Tam, the International Wine Centre director in Shanghai and Hong Kong, stated ASC is “is looking at a fine rumoured to be in the neighbourhood of €5m, and the potential deportation of some of its top executives…” Tam’s post is in a members-only section of the site.

According to Decanter:

ASC spokesman Matthew Gong told decanter.com the report is ‘based on rumour and lacks any evidence to support the allegation’.

The mention of a €5m fine and possible deportation is ‘absolutely false’, he said.

Gong is also quoted as saying the Customs inquiry is routine.

Decanter reports that wine importer Summergate Fine Wines “said it could not comment on the situation.” I have sent email and SMS messages to Summergate Managing Partner Ian Ford, who declined to comment on the Customs issue. I was unable to reach Ford by phone.

The decanter.com article also mentions Grape Wall of China blog, which first broke the Customs inquiry story.

Chinese customs investigating wine importers
Customs investigating wine importers II – ASC releases statement
Chinese customs investigating wine importers

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