Hong Kong Customs has conducted a special enforcement operation to combat smuggling of alternative smoking products (ASPs) at source since the Smoking (Public Health) (Amendment) Ordinance 2021 came into operation on April 30 this year. A total of 46 relevant cases have been successfully detected.
During the operation, Customs officers cracked down on 46 cases involving suspected ASPs at Hong Kong International Airport, Shenzhen Bay Control Point and Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Control Point. The cases mainly involved bringing in ASPs through the passenger channel while the others involved smuggling relevant products into the territory through parcel and cargo channels. About 360 000 suspected ASPs with an estimated market value of more than $10 million were seized by Customs officers.
Customs reminds members of the public that according to the Ordinance, any person who imports, promotes, manufactures, sells or possesses for commercial purposes ASPs, including electronic cigarette products, heated tobacco products, herbal cigarettes and any related devices, parts and accessories, commits an offence. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months.
Customs will work closely with the Department of Health (DH) and will also continue to closely monitor the smuggling situation involving ASPs and take appropriate enforcement action. At the same time, Customs will co-operate with the DH to strengthen the publicity efforts to remind members of the public to comply with the new legislation on ASPs.
Members of the public may report any suspected smuggling activities involving ASPs to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (email@example.com). They may call the DH at 2961 8823 for further enquiries and complaints relating to ASPs.
Ends/Tuesday, May 24, 2022