EPD strictly combats illegal import of waste printed circuit boards and other hazardous electronic waste (with photo)

     Two importers who illegally imported waste printed circuit boards (PCBs), which are classified as hazardous electronic waste (e-waste), from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for local trading or transshipment to the Mainland, were convicted and fined $15,000 in total at the Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (April 11) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).

     In collaboration with the Customs and Excise Department, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) intercepted two imported containers with large quantities of waste PCBs at the Kwai Chung Container Terminals in September last year. The containers were immediately returned to the states of origin and the EPD also notified the relevant overseas enforcement authorities. The total market value of the intercepted hazardous e-waste was about $220,000.

     The EPD spokesman reiterated that waste PCBs are classified as hazardous e-waste, as they contain 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 e-waste into Hong Kong for whatever purpose, including local trading or transshipment. In accordance with the WDO, it is an offence for anyone to import or export hazardous e-waste without a valid permit. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. Repeated offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and two years' imprisonment.

Ends/Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Issued at HKT 13:00