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How to lodge a claim for things seized by Customs under:


Import and Export Ordinance

Under Section 27(1), Import and Export Ordinance, Chapter 60, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , the article, vessel and vehicle seized by Customs and Excise Department are liable to forfeiture. The following FAQs clarify matters relating to claiming of such article, vessel and vehicle by the owner, his authorized agent etc. under Section 27(5) (Opens a new window) of the Ordinance.

Q.1Who is entitled to give a notice of claim for the return of seized article, vehicle and vessel?
A.1

The owner or the authorized agent of the owner of the article, vessel or vehicle or a person who was in possession of the article, vessel or vehicle at the time of seizure, or a person who has a legal or equitable interest in the article, vessel or vehicle, may give a notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise claiming that the article, vessel or vehicle is not liable to forfeiture.

Q.2What information should be included in a notice of claim?
A.2

A notice of claim should include a claim that the goods or things seized are not liable to forfeiture and the claimant's full name and address for service in Hong Kong. Where a claimant does not have a permanent address in Hong Kong, he shall nominate a solicitor qualified to practise under the Legal Practitioners Ordinance, Chapter 159, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , by including the name and address of the solicitor, who is authorized to accept service on his behalf in relation to any forfeiture proceedings.

Q.3Is there any time limitation on giving a notice of claim for the return of seized article, vehicle and vessel?
A.3

A notice of claim may within 30 days beginning-

  1. on the date of the seizure; or
  2. where notice of seizure is-
    1. served by delivery to the person to be served, on the date of service;
    2. sent by registered post, 2 days after the date of posting; or
    3. exhibited at the notice boards of the 3rd floor, Customs Headquarters Building, on the first day it is so exhibited,

be given in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise.

Q.4Can the claimant make claim for the return of forfeited article, vehicle and vessel?
A.4

Yes. A claimant may, within 6 weeks after-

  1. the article, vessel or vehicle has been forfeited to the Government by virtue of relevant provisions or has been forfeited to the Government by order of a court; or
  2. the determination of any appeal against an order for forfeiture of the article, vessel or vehicle made by a court,

give notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise of his intention to submit to the Chief Executive a petition in respect of the forfeited article, vehicle and vessel. The claimant shall submit a petition to the Chief Executive by lodging it in triplicate with the Chief Secretary for Administration within 30 days of giving such notice.

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Dutiable Commodities Ordinance

Under Sections 48(1) and 48(2), Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, Chapter 109, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , the goods and things mentioned in Section 15(1)(a), (b), (c) and (d) (Opens a new window) seized by Customs and Excise Department are liable to forfeiture. The following FAQs clarify matters relating to claiming of such goods and things by the owner, his authorized agent etc. under Section 48(6) (Opens a new window) of the Ordinance.

Q.1Who is entitled to give a notice of claim for the return of goods or things seized?
A.1

A person who claims to be the owner of goods or things liable to forfeiture; who is the authorized agent of a person claiming to be the owner of goods or things liable to forfeiture; who is in possession of goods or things at the time of seizure of the goods or things liable to forfeiture; or who claims to have a legal or equitable interest in goods or things liable to forfeiture, may give notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise claiming that the goods or things seized are not liable to forfeiture.

Q.2What information should be included in a notice of claim?
A.2

A notice of claim should include a claim that the goods or things seized are not liable to forfeiture and the claimant's full name and address for service in Hong Kong. Where a claimant does not have a permanent address in Hong Kong, the notice of claim to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise shall nominate a solicitor qualified to practise under the Legal Practitioners Ordinance, Chapter 159, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , by including the name and address of the solicitor, who is authorized to accept service on his behalf in relation to any forfeiture proceedings.

Q.3Is there any time limitation on giving a notice of claim for the return of seized goods or things?
A.3

A claimant may, within 30 days beginning-

  1. on the date of the seizure; or
  2. where notice of seizure is-
    1. served by delivery to the person to be served, on the date of service;
    2. sent by registered post, 2 days after the date of posting; or
    3. exhibited at the notice boards of the 3rd floor, Customs Headquarters Building, on the first day it is so exhibited,
give notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise claiming that the goods or things are not liable to forfeiture.
Q.4Can the claimant make claim for the return of forfeited goods or things?
A.4

Yes. A claimant may within 6 weeks after-

  1. goods or things have been forfeited to the Government by virtue of relevant provisions; or
  2. the determination of an appeal against an order for forfeiture of goods or things made by a magistrate,
give notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise of his intention to submit to the Chief Executive a petition in respect of the forfeited goods or things. The claimant shall submit a petition to the Chief Executive by lodging it in triplicate with the Chief Secretary for Administration within 1 month of giving such notice.

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Copyright Ordinance

Under Section 131(1), Copyright Ordinance, Chapter 528, Laws of Hong Kong (Opens a new window) , the article, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or thing seized or detained by Customs and Excise Department are liable to forfeiture. The following FAQs clarify matters relating to claiming of such article, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or thing by the owner, his representative etc. under Section 131(5) (Opens a new window) of the Ordinance.

Q.1Who is entitled to give a notice of claim for the return of article, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or thing seized or detained?
A.1

If an article, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or thing is liable to forfeiture, the owner or the authorized agent of the owner thereof, or a person who was in possession thereof at the time of seizure or detention, or a person who has a legal or equitable interest in it, may give notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise and claim that the article, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or thing is not liable to forfeiture.

Q.2What information should be included in a notice of claim?
A.2

A notice of claim should include the claimant's full name and address for service in Hong Kong and a claim that the article, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or thing is not liable to forfeiture. The claimant may also nominate a solicitor to accept service of the summons or notice of the hearing on his behalf.

Q.3Is there any time limitation on giving a notice of claim for the return of seized goods, vehicle and vessel?
A.3

The claimant may within 30 days beginning-

  1. on the date of the seizure or detention; or
  2. where the notice of claim is-
    1. served by delivery to the person to be served, on the date of service; or
    2. sent by registered post, 2 days after the date of posting; or
    3. exhibited at the notice boards of the 3rd floor, Customs Headquarters Building, on the first day it is so exhibited,
give notice in writing to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise of his full name and address for service in Hong Kong and claim that the article, vessel, aircraft, vehicle or thing is not liable to forfeiture.

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