Hong Kong Customs strengthens promotion efforts to remind people not to bring prohibited and controlled items into and out of Hong Kong (with photos)

     ​Since the resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland is gradually approaching in an orderly manner, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) further stepped up the promotion efforts by distributing the Smart Guide to Passenger Clearance in boundary control points to remind members of the public and travellers not to bring prohibited and controlled items into and out of Hong Kong. Customs will also disseminate information people should be aware of when crossing the border via the social media platform pages and WeChat Official Account "香港海關跨境車輛清關資訊發布".

     The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has strict control over the importation or exportation of any prohibited and controlled items into or out of Hong Kong. The commonly found prohibited and controlled items are dangerous drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled chemicals, antibiotics, arms, ammunition, weapons, fireworks, strategic commodities, rough diamonds, animals, plants, endangered species, telecommunication equipment, game, meat, poultry, eggs and powdered formula.

     Regarding medicines, a passenger bringing into or out of Hong Kong any controlled medicines without a licence issued by the Department of Health may be liable to prosecution with subject items seized. However, medicines carried by a passenger in his/her personal baggage and in a reasonable quantity for his/her personal use may be exempted from licensing requirement.

     Furthermore, medicines classified as dangerous drugs, antibiotics or Part 1 poisons are also subject to control under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134), the Antibiotics Ordinance (Cap. 137) or the Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance (Cap. 138). The import or export of such medicines requires a doctor's prescription.

     Regarding alternative smoking products, under the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021, any person who imports, promotes, manufactures, sells or possesses for commercial purposes alternative smoking products, including electronic cigarette products, heated tobacco products, herbal cigarettes and any related devices, parts and accessories, commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.

     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 during the Lunar New Year holiday period, the C&ED reminds them not to bring into Hong Kong any game, meat, poultry and eggs without a health certificate, or they might face prosecution under the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132). 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 (Cap. 586), 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 $10 million and imprisonment for 10 years.

     For regulations on other import and export controlled and prohibited items, members of the public may refer to the Smart Guide to Passenger Clearance (www.customs.gov.hk/hcms/filemanager/en/content_185/Smart_Guide_to_Passenger_Clearance_E.pdf), Hong Kong Customs' Facebook page (www.facebook.com/hongkongcustoms), Instagram account (www.instagram.com/hongkongcustoms) and WeChat Official Account "香港海關跨境車輛清關資訊發布" for latest information. 

     Moreover, in view of the possible parallel trading activities following the resumption of normal travel, Customs will actively co-operate with the Government's deployment. The department will step up enforcement to inspect whether outbound travellers export controlled drugs at boundary control points, and will maintain close contact with the Shenzhen authorities and step up efforts in investigation and enforcement against parallel trading activities, as well as pass on the information to the Immigration Department and the Police for action.

Ends/Friday, January 6, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:15