Hong Kong E-Cigarette Transportation to Resume,Bill to be arraigned on March 29

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The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) government announced on March 22 that the revised Import and Export (Amendment) Bill 2023 will be gazetted on March 24, Friday. The bill will allow the transportation of alternative smoking products (referring to e-cigarettes, hereinafter) through sea-air and land-air intermodal transportation in Hong Kong for export. The bill will be submitted to the Legislative Council for scrutiny on March 29, Wednesday.

The SAR government will establish a regulatory regime managed, supervised, and enforced by the Hong Kong Customs to strengthen the regulation of alternative smoking products during intermodal transportation and reduce the risk of them entering the local market.

A spokesperson for the Transport and Logistics Bureau said on March 22, “Given the harm of alternative smoking products, the government’s position to prohibit their entry into the local market remains unchanged. However, we have noted that the ban on intermodal transportation of alternative smoking products since April 30, 2022, has caused significant losses to Hong Kong’s air cargo transshipment business. Therefore, we should exempt the intermodal transportation of alternative smoking products through a new regulatory framework while preventing them from entering the local market.”

The Hong Kong Logistics Development Council welcomes and supports the bill. The bill aims to restore the transport of alternative smoking products through the Hong Kong International Airport to overseas markets under the newly established regulatory regime.

A spokesperson for the Hong Kong Logistics Development Council said, “The members fully support the government’s work to safeguard public health. However, considering the importance of the transportation of alternative smoking products to Hong Kong’s logistics and air transport industries, members believe that it is equally important to resume the transportation of alternative smoking products as soon as possible.”

“The industry will fully cooperate with the government to implement the new regulatory regime managed, supervised, and enforced by the Hong Kong Customs to strengthen the regulation of intermodal transportation of alternative smoking products,” the spokesperson added.

The government has consulted the Legislative Council’s Panel on Economic Development, the Transport and Logistics Bureau, and the trade and logistics industry and has received widespread support to submit the bill to the Legislative Council.

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