The Hong Kong government wants to resume shipment of alternative smoking products through the city to boost the air cargo industry, reports the South China Morning Post. Domestic sales would remain illegal under the proposal.
The city currently prohibits imports and transshipment of electronic nicotine-delivery devices, many of which are manufactured in neighboring Shenzhen.
“The government hopes to ensure the policy on the importation ban on alternative smoking products will be preserved while maintaining Hong Kong’s position as a leading international aviation and logistics hub,” said Pamela Lam Nga-man, deputy secretary for transport and logistics.
Hong Kong International Airport handled 5 million tons of cargo in 2021, which is about 42 percent of the city’s overseas trade worth about HKD4.34 trillion ($556 billion). Air cargo volumes fell 18 percent on average from May to October of 2022 compared with the same period last year. Some of this decline was attributed to loss of transshipment of alternative smoking products from mainland China; most of the materials were transported through Hong Kong.
Under the government’s proposal, products that arrive by sea for air shipment would use a mainland logistics park set up under a pilot transshipment scheme between the city’s airport and the mainland city of Dongguan. A scheme for secure road transport from the mainland would be set up, documents would have to accompany shipments to prevent them leaking into the black market, and products would have to be directly transferred by designated routing in Hong Kong. Goods would be delivered to restricted areas of the airport and held until flown out. Provision of advance cargo information, application of designated seal or e-lock on containers and GPS tracking of cargo would also be used.