With the Christmas and New Year holidays approaching, Hong Kong Customs today (December 16) reminds members of the public that they should pay attention to whether the products they purchased when travelling contain cannabis since illicit import of cannabis is a criminal offence. They are urged not to break the law.
A spokesman for Hong Kong Customs said the department attaches great importance to combating trafficking in dangerous drugs, and takes rigorous enforcement action in accordance with Hong Kong's laws. The recreational use of cannabis has been legalised in individual overseas jurisdictions where products containing cannabis or controlled cannabinoids (such as tetrahydro-cannabinol, or "THC") in the form of food, drinks or topicals, may be available for sale. Customs reminds the public that cannabis and THC are controlled dangerous drugs in Hong Kong. It is a criminal offence to bring such products into Hong Kong.
Cannabis and THC (a major cannabinoid present in cannabis plants) are dangerous drugs controlled under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap 134). Any products that contain cannabis or THC are also controlled under Cap 134.
"Members of the public should pay attention to the packaging labels of the products concerned while making purchases in foreign places as well as the relevant domestic legislation in relation to cannabis, so as to avoid breaching the law inadvertently," the spokesman continued.
Under Cap 134, trafficking in dangerous drugs, or illicitly importing to and exporting from Hong Kong, procuring, supplying, manufacturing, or dealing in or with dangerous drugs, constitutes a criminal offence. The maximum penalty is life imprisonment and a fine of $5 million. Illicitly possessing, or smoking, inhaling, ingesting or injecting dangerous drugs is subject to a maximum penalty of imprisonment for seven years and a fine of $1 million.
Customs has all along been closely monitoring the trends concerning dangerous drugs in other places and implements appropriate strategies. Stringent law enforcement is imposed on passenger and cargo clearance, including air postal packets and express cargo, to effectively combat drug trafficking activities and interdict the flow of dangerous drugs into Hong Kong.
Customs also appeals to members of the public to report any suspected illicit drug-related activities through Customs' 24-hour telephone hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (email@example.com).
Ends/Monday, December 16, 2019