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Three importers convicted for illegal import of hazardous e-waste
     Three importers who illegally imported hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) from Malaysia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the United Arab Emirates were convicted and fined a total of $46,000 by the Fanling Magistrates’ Courts today (June 6) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO).
     In collaboration with the Customs and Excise Department, the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) intercepted four imported containers at the Kwai Chung Container Terminals from September to November last year and found hazardous e-waste comprising waste printed circuit boards inside them. They were intended for import into Hong Kong or transshipment to the Mainland. These four intercepted containers were immediately returned to the states of origin and the EPD also notified the relevant local enforcement authorities. The total market value of the intercepted hazardous e-waste was about $470,000.
     The EPD spokesman reiterated that the intercepted waste printed circuit boards are classified as hazardous e-waste, which 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 6, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:12
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