Hong Kong Customs reminds public to observe regulation on export of powdered formula for infants and children under 36 months

9 Sep 2016

The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) today (September 9) reminded members of the public and persons departing Hong Kong to observe the regulation effective from March 1, 2013, concerning the export of powdered formula for infants and children under 36 months (powdered formula) from Hong Kong.

Fanling Magistrates' Courts today sentenced a 41-year-old woman to four months' imprisonment for illegal export of excessive amounts of powdered formula from Hong Kong. All powdered formula involved in the case was confiscated. The woman was intercepted by Customs officers on September 8 at the departure hall of Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point. She was found in possession of 28.6 kilograms (kg) of powdered formula, which exceeded the statutory limit of 1.8 kg.

Under the Import and Export (General)(Amendment) Regulation 2013, it is an offence to export powdered formula, including milk powder and soya milk powder, for infants and children under 36 months without a licence. To allow a reasonable quantity for personal use, the prohibition does not apply to powdered formula not exceeding 1.8 kg in total net weight that is exported in the accompanied personal baggage of a person leaving Hong Kong. However, the person must be aged 16 or above and must not have left Hong Kong in the previous 24 hours. Offenders may face a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for two years upon conviction.

The C&ED will continue to crack down on powdered formula smuggling at boundary control points, and to detect syndicated activities and trace stores for smuggling powdered formula. The department will also strengthen bilateral co-operation with Mainland Customs, including exchange of information, and conduct of joint operations as necessary.

From March 2013 to August 2016, a total of 15 012 persons were convicted by court for contravention of the regulation. Among them, 895 persons were sentenced to immediate imprisonment from one day to 180 days, and 1 139 persons were sentenced to imprisonment of four days to 10 months suspended from 12 months to 36 months.

Ends/Friday, September 9, 2016

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