As the Easter holiday is approaching, parallel trading activities involving the illicit export of powdered formula are expected to rise. The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) has stepped up enforcement action at the border exit points to combat such illegal activities.
In an operation conducted by Customs officers at Lo Wu Control Point yesterday (April 10), a total of seven departing passengers, three men and four women, were arrested for exporting powdered formula without producing a valid licence. The arrested passengers included three 14-year-old teenagers, each carrying in their backpacks three cans totalling 2.7 kilograms of powdered formula. All the powdered formula involved in the operation, amounting to 31 cans and 22 boxes weighing 45.4kg in total, was seized. The cases are under investigation.
The Import and Export (General) Regulation prohibits the unlicensed export of powdered formula, including milk powder and soya milk powder, for infants and children under 36 months. To allow a reasonable quantity for personal use, the prohibition does not apply to powdered formula not exceeding 1.8kg 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 last 24 hours. Offenders may face a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for two years upon conviction and a criminal record.
The C&ED reminded members of the public and persons departing Hong Kong to observe the new regulation about the export of powdered formula, and appealed to young people not to defy the law.
Ends/Friday, April 11 2014