Written by: Li Yinglin
2020-05-26 12:56Last update date: 2020-05-26 13:01
The brewing industry in Hong Kong has risen in recent years. In addition to beer, some people have set up distillery in industrial buildings and commercial buildings to make spirits, whiskey and other spirits. However, the relevant licensing policy is ambiguous and fails to cope with industry development.
It turns out that in addition to applying for a license for the manufacture of drinking alcohol, the local distillery must also apply for the "Dangerous Goods Manufacturing License" to the Fire Services Department. But the reporter visited many distillery, the person in charge did not understand the relevant regulations.
A person in charge of the distillery said that the Fire Services Department had sent staff to inspect the workshop, but no one pointed out that it was necessary to obtain a dangerous goods manufacturing license. License information.
Tan Wenhao, a member of the Legislative Council, was not reminded when the Fire Services Department received the enquiry. It was a lack of awareness and sensitivity to emerging industries. He also criticized the unclear licensing guidelines, which would hinder the development of entrepreneurship and emerging industries, and suggested that the government establish a physical one-stop office to handle licensing issues.
Mr. Zeng, the person in charge of "Hong Kong Brewing" who brews whiskey, said that his Tai Po brewery has obtained the "Distillery License" from the customs, and the wine storage warehouse on the second floor of the same industrial building has also applied for fire protection. Dangerous goods storage license. " He pointed out that he did not know that he had to apply for a dangerous goods manufacturing licence from the Fire Services Department, and he did not know the details of the licence.
The "Hong Kong Winery" in Tai Po has obtained the "Distillery License" from the Customs, but its principal Mr. Zeng said that after inspecting the workshop, the Fire Services Department did not remind him to apply for a dangerous goods manufacturing license. (Photo by Li Yinglin)
The Fire Services Department has conducted inspections and has not indicated that a "dangerous goods manufacturing license" is required
Mr. Zeng pointed out that when applying for a dangerous goods storage license for a wine storage warehouse, the Fire Services Department staff also inspected the distillery factory and facilities on the 13th floor at that time, pointed out the locations that are prone to danger, and put forward suggestions for improvement: "It looks like our distillery At the beginning, the fire department required us to hang a warning sign to show that ordinary people can not enter the dangerous area. "However, he said that there was no reminder from the fire department staff at the time, or pointed out that his workshop must apply for a dangerous goods manufacturing license. When the restaurant license was issued, there was no mention of the license. He bluntly failed to understand the situation. "It's a mess, so chaotic. No department has asked us questions or inquiries."
Starting in 2013, he began to make enquiries and preparations. He applied for a food manufacturing brand from the FEHD and passed the inspection of the Department of Health. Last year, he obtained a customs restaurant license. Mr. Zeng pointed out that every step is to ask the factory "one by one" from the department: "When we started to apply for this license, the Hong Kong government clearly instructed us to do it." He emphasized that the winery is subject to customs supervision and has been approved to sell liquor in public.
There are many wine-making machines in the winery in Hong Kong. Mr. Zeng pointed out that the staff of the Fire Services Department had visited the two venues and pointed out the locations where they are prone to danger. He proposed improvements. (Photo by Li Yinglin)
Distilled wine process is regulated by the Fire Department: no manufacturing license is granted
It turns out that the establishment of a liquor manufacturing plant in Hong Kong is required by the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance to obtain a liquor manufacturer's license issued by the Customs and Excise Department, and a winery license is required. According to the Customs and Excise Department, there are currently five licensed liquor manufacturing plants and three licensed breweries in Hong Kong.
Although the three wineries have all obtained licenses issued by the Customs and the food manufacturing licenses granted by the FEHD, they have not yet met the government's license requirements. The Fire Services Department replied "Hong Kong 01" that the process of distilling "drinkable alcohol" is regulated by the Dangerous Goods Ordinance, and the relevant workshops must apply for a manufacturing license from the Fire Services Department before operation. However, as of May 21, 2020, the prescription did not issue any dangerous brand photos that make "drinkable alcohol." Since 2018, the prescription has received a total of 2 related applications, which are still under review. In other words, none of the above three distillers in operation have obtained the license.
The prescription means that from January 2019 to April this year, 13 surprise inspections have been made on complaints about suspected illegal brewing, but no violations of fire regulations or dangerous goods regulations were found during the inspection.
Applicants with unclear license guidelines must check with multiple departments
According to the Dangerous Goods (Applicable and Exempt) Regulations, any alcohol that is miscible with water, contains more than 35% ethanol by volume, and has a flash point of 23 ° C or higher, but not higher than 66 ° C, includes Any alcoholic beverage that meets the above conditions is classified as "drinkable alcohol" by law, which is classified as dangerous goods in category 2 and part 2 in category 5. Except for those who are licensed under the Dangerous Goods Ordinance, no one shall manufacture, store, transport, use any dangerous goods, or store more than the amount of drinkable alcohol specified in the regulations.
Local brand Two Moons Distillery responded to the incident and stated that it is now communicating with the department and will work hard to promote local manufacturing. (Photo by Li Yinglin)
Incidents of explosions and fires in the distillery are not uncommon. In 2019, a distiller in a felt distillery in North Yorkshire, England exploded, causing a fire. In 2018, an illegal brewery in the United Kingdom also exploded, causing a three-story building to collapse. However, the guidelines for licenses required for the manufacture of distilled alcoholic beverages in Hong Kong are currently only the commercial license information service on the homepage of the SME Support and Consultation Centre of the Trade and Industry Department. There is more information to be integrated, but the details still require Inquiries from various departments.
Another local brand, Two Moons Distillery, responded to the incident and said that it is communicating with the department and will work hard to promote local manufacturing. Another felt winery, NIP Distillery, also stated that, to the best of their knowledge, it has applied to all government departments for all required licenses and complied with the relevant laws. Some wineries pointed out that during the consultation, the Fire Services Department never mentioned the dangerous goods manufacturing brand.
Another felt winery, NIP Distillery, stated that as far as they know, it has applied for all required licenses from various government departments and complied with the relevant laws. (Photo by Li Yinglin)
Distilled wine is an emerging industry: fire protection is integrating license information
Some industry sources revealed that when applying for a license for a distillery, they consulted various government departments. The Fire Services Department responded to its inquiries about dangerous brand photos, stating that the factory ’s alcohol storage does not exceed the statutory exemption and no storage license is required, but it does not mention information about manufacturing licenses, so it has applied for it within its knowledge Obtain all licenses.
"Always the industry is too new, everyone does not know the point of the distillery, and they spend a lot of time cooperating with the department." He said that the Fire Services Department is now communicating with the industry to integrate the distillery application information: "The process takes time However, we will cooperate and hope that the relevant departments will know that we are operating in this industry and continue to promote distilled spirits in Hong Kong. "
Legislative Council member Tan Wenhao believes that the failure of the Fire Services Department to remind the licenses required for distillery is a lack of awareness and sensitivity to emerging industries. (Profile picture / photo by Yu Junliang)
Tan Wenhao: The fire department has insufficient cognition and sensitivity
Legislative Council member Tan Wenhao believes that when the Fire Services Department received the enquiry, it was known that the applicant intends to open a distillery. It should be reminded of the licenses that it has to apply for, otherwise it would be a lack of awareness and sensitivity to emerging industries: We all want to be a regular workshop, first call the fire department. "He hopes that the winery concerned can renew the license as soon as possible.
Tan Wenhao also pointed out that the problem of unclear guidelines for applying for licenses occurs in all walks of life. Entrepreneurs often have to inquire and apply to multiple departments: "It seems that there are 6 departments that have already been requested." He criticized this. The problem will stifle public entrepreneurship and the development of emerging industries. It is recommended that the government establish a physical interdepartmental licensing office to handle applications in one stop.
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Fire Department Wine Alcohol Whiskey Whisky / Whiskey