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Incoming passengers to lose duty-free concessions on tobacco products – fuller details

duty-free shopFirst published: February 27, 2010

Source: 7th Space

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Financial Secretary, Mr John C Tsang, in his Budget
speech today (February 24) proposed to abolish duty-free concessions on
tobacco products for incoming passengers to Hong Kong as a means to further
protect public health.  Elaborating on the proposed arrangements, a
government spokesman said small amounts of tobacco products for own
consumption would be exempted to facilitate law enforcement. “Incoming
passengers may carry up to 19 cigarettes; or one stick or 25 grammes of
cigar (to cater for the varieties of packaging of cigars in the retail
market, incoming passengers who have with them more than one cigar will be
subject to a ceiling of 25 grammes); or 25 grammes of other manufactured
tobacco products,” the spokesman said.”Incoming passengers will be entitled
to only any one kind of tobacco product.

Passengers who carry tobacco products in excess of this limit must make
declarations and pay the relevant duty. “The limit will apply to all
incoming passengers. The 24-hour rule on time spent outside Hong Kong for
entitlement of the duty-free concessions on tobacco products that currently
applies to Hong Kong identity card holders will be removed. This is to
avoid frequent travellers between Hong Kong and the Mainland who may have
in their possession small amounts of tobacco products for own consumption
being caught for not making the necessary declaration in accordance with
the law
,” the spokesman said. The measure will take effect on completion of
the legislative processes and is expected to be implemented in the third
quarter of this year at the earliest.

“Before the implementation of the new measure, we will conduct extensive
publicity activities, including making announcements via the media and
placing notices at border control points, as well as notifying the tourism
industry and other countries, to ensure that both the public and incoming
passengers are well-prepared for the new measure,” the spokesman said.

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