Customs seizes $920,000 worth of e-waste and unmanifested goods

22 Jul 2004

Hong Kong Customs yesterday (July 21) seized $920,000 worth of hazardous electronic waste and smuggled goods from an inbound 40-foot container imported from Canada during a joint operation with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD).

The operation aimed at clamping down on the importation of hazardous wastes controlled under the Waste Disposal Ordinance.

While examining a consignment from Vancouver declared as metal scraps at the Kwai Chung Container Terminals at 4pm, Customs officers found unmanifested software compact discs, computer monitors and accessories, as well as 30 used TV sets and 265 cathode-ray tubes and 330 used computer monitors. The total seizure was worth about $920,000.

A Customs and Excise Department spokesman said today (July 22) that follow-up investigations by both departments were under way. The used TV monitors and cathode-ray tubes and used computer monitors had been handed over to EPD officers for further investigation.

Customs officers have been conducting joint operations with EPD officers since February to combat illegal import of hazardous electronic wastes. With the aid of the Mobile X-ray Vehicle Scanning System, Customs officers have successfully intercepted 48 inbound consignments that contained controlled e-wastes. The total seizure was valued about $4.9 million.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, importing unmanifested cargo shall be liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

The maximum penalty for importing hazardous electronic waste without proper import permit under the Waste Disposal Ordinance will be a fine of $200,000 and six months' imprisonment.

Ends/Thursday, July 22, 2004

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