New Customs measures to deter illicit use of marked high sulphur diesel for marine use

22 Apr 2005

Hong Kong Customs will roll out a new voluntary control scheme in May to deter the sale of marked high sulphur diesel for illegitimate purposes.

The new measure, entitled "Voluntary Control Scheme on Selling of Marked High Sulphur Diesel for Marine Use", aims at ensuring that marked high sulphur diesel is only sold to customers for legitimate marine use.

Under the scheme, both oil companies and oil barges will provide sales records to Hong Kong Customs for verification. Once Customs officers suspect any transaction of marked high sulphur diesel of involving illicit activities, they will make inquiries with the parties concerned, and take enforcement action as deemed necessary.

The Department has briefed the four oil companies, namely, ExxonMobil Hong Kong Ltd, Caltex Oil Hong Kong Ltd, China Resources Petrochems (Group) Co Ltd, and Shell Hong Kong Ltd, of the new initiative. They have pledged to give full support.

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department today (April 22) said, "Hong Kong Customs targets to deter the illicit use of marked oil by tightening control on the chain of supply and end-users. The voluntary control scheme will put in place a regulatory regime whereby Customs officers can track out illicit activities. By distinguishing between genuine and illicit marked oil users, Customs officers can focus enforcement efforts against the illicit uses."

"According to the Dutiable Commodities Ordinance, marked oil can be used for industrial or marine use. However, Hong Kong Customs noticed that some of the marked high sulphur diesel had been smuggled to the Mainland by sea or re-landed to local black market for vehicular use. To effectively clamp down on such illicit activities, the Department has mapped out a series of measures, including the introduction of voluntary control scheme," the spokesman said.

In case of further enquiries, oil barges are welcome to contact the Special Task Force of the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.

Ends/Friday, April 22, 2005

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