A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department said today (February 1) that Customs officers always stay alert to smuggling and counterfeiting activities and take rigorous crackdown enforcement actions to protect legitimate trade.
Any person importing or exporting unmanifested cargoes is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and seven years' imprisonment under Import and Export Ordinance. Any goods, vehicles and vessels seized in connection with the offence are liable to forfeiture.
Under the Trade Descriptions Ordinance, any person importing goods bearing forged trade marks is liable to a maximum fine of $500,000 and five years' imprisonment.
The warning came after the seizure of $10.9 million worth of unmanifested cargoes from five 40-foot transshipment containers on January 23 (Sunday) by Customs officers of the Harbour and River Trade Division. Part of the goods, worth about $1.25 million, carried suspected forged trade marks.
The unmanifested cargoes, including clothing, handbags, electronic appliances, toys, machine, foodstuff, were seized from five containers onboard a river trade vessel during Customs cargo inspection at the Hong Kong International Terminals No. 4. The containers which had arrived from Huangpu in the Mainland were declared to be carrying detergent, PVC price tags and chairs.
The spokesman said, "Preliminary investigations showed that the goods were destined for Singapore and Malaysia via Hong Kong. Investigation is still in progress and no arrest has been made so far."
With the help of advanced technology, proactive intelligence collection and analysis work, the Department is committed to curbing smuggling and counterfeiting activities.
Ends/Tuesday, February 1, 2005