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EPD successfully intercepts import of hazardous electronic waste from United States by air (with photo)
     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) successfully intercepted a case of illegal import of hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) from the United States at Hong Kong International Airport. The importer concerned, Tung Way Company, was convicted at the Fanling Magistrates' Courts today (April 16) for contravening the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO) and fined $16,500.

     The EPD has all along been taking strict enforcement action to combat illegal import of hazardous e-waste through different channels. With the assistance of the Customs and Excise Department, the EPD intercepted a batch of air cargo at Hong Kong International Airport in November last year. It was claimed to contain used electronic parts. After inspection, it was found to be loaded with hazardous e-waste comprising waste printed circuit boards (PCBs), with a market value of about $100,000. The EPD immediately returned the intercepted hazardous e-waste to its place of origin and notified the local enforcement authority concerned about the return shipment. The department also instigated prosecution against the importer concerned in accordance with the WDO.

     An EPD spokesman stressed that waste PCBs are hazardous e-waste containing various heavy metals and other toxic chemical substances. They are classified as chemical waste and are regulated by the existing laws on chemical waste disposal. The EPD will continue to rigorously combat the illegal import and export activities of hazardous waste to protect the environment.

     The spokesman reminded importers of the waste recycling trade not to illegally import (including import into or transshipment through Hong Kong) or export hazardous waste. According to the WDO, it is an offence for anyone to import or export hazardous waste without obtaining a valid permit beforehand. First-time offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment. For subsequent offences, offenders are liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and two years' imprisonment.

     Members of the public may visit the EPD's website for more information about the control of chemical waste: www.epd.gov.hk/epd/english/environmentinhk/waste/guide_ref/guide_cwc.html.
Ends/Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Issued at HKT 17:46
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The Environmental Protection Department, with the assistance of the Customs and Excise Department, intercepted waste printed circuit boards at Hong Kong International Airport.