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Hong Kong Customs and Centre for Food Safety join hands to continue vigorously combating illegal importing or smuggling of regulated food
     Hong Kong Customs and the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (April 15) stated that both departments will continue to work closely in combating the illegal import or smuggling of regulated food on all fronts.

     After the resumption of normal travel between Hong Kong and the Mainland since February 6, 2023, Customs has detected about 400 cases of illegal imports of regulated food in the first quarter of this year, which amounts to about 40 per cent of the approximately 1 100 similar cases detected last year. This reflects that there has been an increasing trend in this type of case recently. Of the cases detected by Customs, more than 80 per cent were detected from incoming passengers. No large-scale regulated food smuggling cases have been detected during the same period.

     The CFS said illegally imported food may come from unknown sources and may not be under regulatory control, making it difficult to guarantee the safety of consumption. Also, the food concerned might have been exposed to dangerous temperatures and environments with unsatisfactory hygiene during the smuggling or delivery process, largely increasing food safety risks and threatening the health of the public.

     With the Labour Day Golden Week approaching, Customs and the CFS reminded members of the public not to import regulated food illegally from the Mainland or overseas for the sake of convenience. It is best to avoid criminal liability and not affect one's health.

     According to the Imported Game, Meat, Poultry and Eggs Regulations (Cap. 132AK), it is an offence to bring any game, meat, poultry or eggs into Hong Kong without a health certificate issued by an issuing entity of the place of origin and/or without prior written permission granted by the FEHD. An offender shall be liable on conviction to a fine of $50,000 and to imprisonment for six months.

     Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

     Customs and the CFS will maintain close co-operation, while joint operations will be conducted to combat illegal food import activities.

     Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk) or online form (eform.cefs.gov.hk/form/ced002).
Ends/Monday, April 15, 2024
Issued at HKT 18:55
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