Customs investigation: ASC Fine Wines faces USD350K fine

By Jim Boyce

Decanter is reporting that China Customs is fining ASC Fine Wines USD350,000 for under-declaring its wine imports over the past two years. ASC Managing Partner Don St. Pierre Jr. was recently released from three weeks of detention.

ASC and other wine importers have been subjected to a China-wide inspection by customs focussing [sic] on potential discrepancies between the declared value and ‘real value’ of imported wines.

St Pierre and his colleague Carrie Xuan were held – along with the legal representatives of other wine importers – from 11 March to 8 April in a detention centre. St Pierre was released on April 8, free to return to work, along with all other ASC staff.

Decanter had earlier repeated speculation by Simon Tam on Jancis Robinson’s Web site (members-only section) that ASC faced “a fine rumoured to be in the neighbourhood of €5m, and the potential deportation of some of its top executives…”

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