Export and Import Practices
Hong Kong's cosmetic and toiletries market had an estimated value of $787 million in 2002. With little domestic production of cosmetics and toiletries, Hong Kong relies on imports from China, Japan, the United States, France, Singapore, Malaysia, and Taiwan. Industry sources expect import growth to continue in the coming years despite the economic slowdown in Hong Kong. The constant demand from mainland Chinese tourists will also drive the growth of imported cosmetics and toiletries. The best prospects in Hong Kong will be in hair coloring products, skin-whitening products, nail products, color cosmetics, permanent eye makeup, and skin care products for professional beauty salons. U.S. skin care and hair care products have a reputation for quality, innovation, competitive prices, stringent quality control, and safety. While Japan is currently the market leader in color cosmetics, France is the leading perfume supplier to Hong Kong. According to U.S. government statistics, Hong Kong was the United States' 15th-largest trading partner and 13th-largest export destination in 2001. U.S. exports to Hong Kong totaled $14.1 billion in 2001, and bilateral trade totaled $23.7 billion. U.S. exports to Hong Kong in the first quarter of 2002 were down 18.2 percent over the previous year due to sluggish domestic consumption and capital investment. There are no import tariffs or product registration requirements on cosmetics and toiletries in Hong Kong. Hong Kong accepts U.S. product labeling and there is no local mandatory labeling or registration requirement on cosmetic or cosmaceutical products. As long as the cosmetic product or cosmaceutical product does not claim to cure a medical condition on its labels, its promotional materials or in its package inserts on usage instructions, registration is not required. Imports from the United States fell to $92 million in 2002, yet the United States remained Hong Kong's third-largest supplier. With...
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