´╗┐Customs reminds public to observe duty free concession

20 Nov 2009

Travellers entering Hong Kong are today (November 20) being reminded to declare to Customs officers the quantity of dutiable goods exceeding the duty free concession or be liable to prosecution. Hong Kong Customs will step up enforcement against travellers at various control points bringing in dutiable goods in excess of the duty free concession.

Under the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, a passenger aged 18 or above is allowed to bring into Hong Kong 60 cigarettes or 15 cigars or 75 grammes of other manufactured tobacco; and one litre of alcoholic liquor with an alcoholic strength above 30% by volume measured at a temperature of 20 Degree Celsius free of duty for their own use. If the passenger holds a Hong Kong Identity Card, they must have spent 24 hours or longer outside Hong Kong.

An incoming passenger, who fails to declare or makes a false or incomplete declaration to a Customs officer on the excessive quantity of dutiable goods in their possession, commits an offence. The maximum penalty will be a fine of $1 million and imprisonment for two years.

Pursuant to the Compounding Scheme in place of prosecution, the passenger may be allowed to pay within 10 days a penalty equivalent to five times the duty payable on the dutiable goods concerned, plus a fine of $2,000. Passengers who fail to settle the penalties within the time set will be brought before the court.

Hong Kong Customs has been taking stringent action against the evasion of penalty payment and will apply for court warrants to apprehend offenders who fail to appear before the court. On November 18, three offenders were apprehended for non-payment of compound penalties. One of them, who had brought in a total of 4,000 dutiable cigarettes on four occasions, was fined $24,400 by the court.

Ends/Friday, November 20, 2009

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