Public warned on bring orchids into HK

16 Jan 2004

A spokesman for the Customs and Excise Department today (January 16) warned members of the public that if they brought orchids into Hong Kong from the Mainland, or they could face prosecution.

"With the approach of Lunar New Year, some people may bring into Hong Kong flowers purchased in the Mainland. However, the importation of orchids without a licence is prohibited under the Animals and Plants (Protection of Endangered Species) Ordinance," the spokesman said.

He added that the importation into Hong Kong of endangered species required import licences or permits to be issued in advance by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

Customs officers from the Control Points Command yesterday (January 15) arrested two men and three women, aged 41 to 51, for bringing 12 pots of orchids into Hong Kong from the Mainland. They have been handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department for follow-up inquiries.

The officers have so far this year seized 36 pots of orchids at various boundary control points, including Lok Ma Chau, Lo Wu and China Ferry Terminal. Fourteen incoming passengers and a driver have been arrested.

The spokesman also appealed to the public to be patient at the control points and to co-operate with Customs officers during checks for prohibited goods.

Ends/Friday, January 16, 2004

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