Public reminded to observe regulation on export of powdered formula for infants and children under 36 months

14 Sep 2015

The Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) today (September 14) 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.

The reminder came after three cases heard at Fanling Magistrates' Courts on September 11 and today. A 26-year-old man and a 37-year-old woman were sentenced to four weeks' and two months' imprisonment respectively at Fanling Magistrates' Courts today for illegal export of excessive powdered formula from Hong Kong. The two persons were intercepted by Customs officers on September 12 and 13 respectively at the departure hall of Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point. They were found to have in their possession 25.7 kilograms and 24kg respectively of powdered formula which exceeded the limit of 1.8kg. They pleaded guilty to the charge today and the court imposed custodial sentences on them. All the powdered formula involved in the cases was confiscated.

Another 26-year-old man was sentenced to two months' imprisonment on September 11 at Fanling Magistrates' Courts for illegal export of 36kg of powdered formula. He was intercepted on September 10 at the departure hall of Lok Ma Chau Spur Line Control Point, and powdered formula which exceeded the limit was found in his possession. The court imposed a custodial sentence and the powdered formula involved was confiscated.

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 1.8kg 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 past 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 the Mainland Customs, including exchanging information and conducting joint operations as necessary.

From March 2013 to August 2015, a total of 11 273 persons were convicted by court for contravention of the regulation. Among them, 496 persons were sentenced to immediate imprisonment from one day to 140 days, and 979 persons were sentenced to imprisonment of six days to 10 months suspended from 12 months to 36 months.

Ends/Monday, September 14, 2015

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