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Four importers convicted for illegal import of hazardous e-waste
     Four importers who illegally imported hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan and the Mainland were convicted and fined a total of $94,000 by Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (June 20) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).
     In collaboration with the Customs and Excise Department, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) intercepted 10 imported containers at the Kwai Chung Container Terminals in November and December last year and found hazardous e-waste comprising waste flat panel displays, waste batteries, waste printed circuit boards and waste toner cartridges inside them. They were intended for import into Hong Kong or transshipment to Singapore and the Mainland. The total market value of the intercepted hazardous e-waste was about $630,000. The 10 intercepted containers were immediately returned to the states of origin and the EPD also notified the relevant local enforcement authorities.
     The EPD spokesman added that the intercepted hazardous e-waste contains heavy metals (such as mercury, lead and nickel) and other toxic chemicals. Improper handling of such waste can cause harm to the environment and public health. The EPD strictly controls the import and export of hazardous waste according to the WDO and is committed to combating the illegal import of hazardous waste into Hong Kong. All illegally imported containers that are intercepted will be returned to the states of origin following international practice and the offenders will be prosecuted.
     The spokesman reminded importers of the waste recycling trade not to illegally import hazardous waste into Hong Kong for whatever purpose, including import into or transshipment through Hong Kong. In accordance with the WDO, it is an offence for anyone to import (including transshipment) or export hazardous waste without valid permits. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. Repeat offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and two years' imprisonment.
Ends/Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:30
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