Hong Kong

Four rules for transporting e-cigarettes in Hong Kong are released

According to reports, the Hong Kong Transport and Logistics Bureau proposed the content regarding the transport of e-cigarettes in Hong Kong during a meeting recorded on the Legislative Council’s official website. The bureau’s chief, Frank Chan Fan, requested the amendment to the 2023 Import and Export (Amendment) Bill during the meeting’s second reading, indicating that the transport legislation is underway.

So, what are the new regulations? The proposed legislative rules emphasize four key elements of e-cigarette transport management:

  1. Pre-registration is required to obtain an exemption.

According to the proposed legislation, anyone who wishes to obtain an exemption for the transportation of new tobacco products that pass through Hong Kong must first register with the Commissioner of Customs and Excise. New tobacco products must be transported by an approved sea, air, or land-air mode of transportation and a complete bill of lading from a place outside Hong Kong to another place outside Hong Kong must be presented to qualify for exemption.

  1. Security measures must be taken, and designated electronic locks must be installed on containers for monitoring purposes.

The proposal states that to strengthen customs management of new tobacco products effectively, relevant companies or individuals must install appropriate security devices, such as designated electronic locks on containers or closed-circuit television (CCTV)/global positioning system (GPS) devices, on ships or vehicles according to a set of monitoring measures developed by the Customs and Excise Department. These monitoring measures will be enforced through administrative guidelines, which will be updated timely to adapt to technological advancements and changing circumstances. The customs department will also provide the public with relevant guidelines.

  1. Pre-declaration is required before arriving in Hong Kong.

According to the proposal, relevant companies or individuals must provide information about the goods and report the situation of every new tobacco product transported to Hong Kong in advance to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise in accordance with current regulations and requirements.

  1. Real-time monitoring must be carried out until the goods are delivered to their overseas destination.

The proposal states that the goods must be transported in a secure manner acceptable to the Commissioner of Customs and Excise and monitored in real-time throughout the entire transportation process. The new tobacco products will be transported to the Hong Kong International Airport for transfer according to a designated route and will remain on board the ship or vehicle until they reach the airport, where they will be immediately transported to the restricted area/surveillance-sealed area and remain there until being sent overseas by air.

From the perspective of the “E-cigarette Transport Regulations in Hong Kong,” the emphasis is on preventing them from entering Hong Kong and enhancing end-to-end management before and after transport. A complete set of transport regulations is expected to be launched soon.

Therefore, to maintain the competitiveness of the Hong Kong International Airport and consolidate its position as an international shipping hub and international trade center, Hong Kong has made amendments to the legislation to optimize the exemption and management arrangements for new tobacco products, thereby handling new tobacco products transported to overseas markets from the Mainland via Hong Kong International Airport while preventing them from entering the local market.

Since the total ban on e-cigarettes in Hong Kong in late April last year, the value of air transit cargo affected by the e-cigarette ban is estimated to exceed 120 billion yuan per year. Therefore, the prohibition of e-cigarette transportation in Hong Kong has attracted industry attention. Now, new legislation is allowing “sea-air or land-air transit methods,” and it is expected that a large amount of e-cigarettes may be shipped out of Hong Kong in the future.


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