Hong Kong Customs steps up law enforcement and education for LNY period
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - With the imminent arrival of the Lunar New Year holiday period, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) will step up anti-smuggling operations at various land boundary control points (BCPs) as well as publicity and education in light of the increased cross-boundary passenger flow before and during the festive holiday.
Joint operations with the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department will also be mounted to step up customs clearance checks and inspections at BCPs to prevent the bringing in and taking out of prohibited and controlled items.
Envisaging that many members of the public may bring in prohibited and controlled items unknowingly after travel, home-visit or festive shopping in the Mainland, the C&ED reminds them that under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, it is an offence to bring into Hong Kong any game, meat, poultry and eggs without a health certificate. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting endangered species including orchids, ivory, American ginseng and dried seahorse without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.
In addition, the import of mammals, birds and reptiles is controlled under the Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance and Rabies Ordinance. These animals should not be brought into Hong Kong unless a permit is obtained.
The C&ED is also very concerned about the use of cross-boundary students (CBSs) for smuggling purposes.
Apart from stepping up customs checks on CBSs, their escorts, and parents travelling with them, the C&ED has also stepped up publicity and education efforts. Designated clearance passages for CBSs have been installed in customs halls and young students are advised to keep a watchful eye over their personal belongings at all times to prevent smugglers from making use of them for smuggling purposes.
The C&ED and the Police will also continue to distribute leaflets at BCPs and organise talks at schools to educate students, parents/guardians, escorts and cross-boundary school-bus operators about the relevant legislation and the consequences of being involved in smuggling activities.
The C&ED has all along adopted a zero tolerance approach against cross-boundary smuggling activities and will step up mobilisation for stringent enforcement actions during the festive period.
Published on: 2018-02-03
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