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Import/Export

United States to Hong Kong

Country or Territory Regulations Topics:

Commodity Specific Stipulations

There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Hong Kong. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.

Exports from the United States and Canada require an export permit/CITES Certificate for American ginseng sent to Hong Kong. The export permit/CITES Certificate is required to prove that the ginseng originated from farm-cultivation and that its exportation is not detrimental to the survival of the species. This regulation applies to all types of shipments including commercial, individual, gift, sample, and others.
Animal Skins/ Leather Goods The scientific name of animal skin or leather goods should be mentioned in invoice. The document of country of origin may be required by AFCD (Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong) when import into Hong Kong. Any skins/ leather goods is made of endangered animals (eg: captive alligator, captive Python) requires endorsed CITES Certificate issued by exporting country.

Animal Carcass and Product
No person shall import into Hong Kong any animal, carcass or animal product except under and in accordance with a permit issued by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. "Animal Products" means parts or derivatives of a dog, a cat (e.g. dog skin, canine semen, canine plasma, etc.) or any animal that has been infected with rabies

Asbestos and asbestos containing materials
Asbestos and asbestos containing materials.
Import, export or transship of asbestos or asbestos containing materials is banned in HK.

Game, Meat, Poultry and Eggs
Under the Imported Game, Meat, Poultry and Eggs Regulations, Chapter 132, sub. leg. AK, Laws of Hong Kong, any person who imports game, meat and poultry should obtain prior permission for importation from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) unless for imported meat and poultry accompanied by a valid health certificate issued by an issuing entity of the place of origin recognized by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene. Besides, no person shall import eggs into Hong Kong unless with a health certificate and/or a written permission of a health officer of FEHD. An egg or its edible part that is fully cooked or constitutes one of the ingredients of any compounded food is excluded by the Regulations

Rice
A Licenses for rice imported for local consumption are issued only to companies registered with the Trade and Industry Department as stockholders.

Frozen or Chilled Meat and Poultry
The import of frozen meat, chilled meat, frozen poultry and chilled poultry must be covered by an import licence issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.

Frozen Confections
Prior permission for importation, (Source of manufacture of Frozen Confections should be approved by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department).

Milk, Milk Beverage and Cream
Prior permission for importation (Source of manufacture of Milk, Milk Beverage and Cream should be approved by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department).

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Mercury & Mercury Mixtures The import of mercury and mercury mixture shall be covered by a permit issued by the Environmental Protection Department. In addition, the import of mercury-added products (e.g. non-electronic thermometer, cosmetics having a mercury content exceeding 1ppm) is prohibited.

Customers must use an authorized UPS / MBE (Mail Boxes Etc) Store, UPS Customer Center or ISC Approved Shipper to ship personal effects.

The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc, UPS Customer Center or ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing "Personal Effects" in the Reference Field of a UPS "smart" label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' shipment on the Commercial Invoice.

Personal Effects are classified as used items (owned for a minimum of 6 months) intended for the consignee's personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. "Personal Effects" must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description.

All of the following documents must be scanned into DIS/SIR and originals on the package:

An inventory list with estimated values with the reason for importation (holidays, move, relocation) A confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and that they are intended for personal use only A photocopy of passport or ID card Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis.

Excisable goods (for example, perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects.

Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.

Shipments of Pharmaceutical Products and medicine requires an import license issued by the Department of Health prior to shipment arrival.

Please visit the following website for a list of pharmaceutical products and medicine:
http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/eps/root/en/pharmaceutical_trade/search_drug_database.html pPharmaceutical products and medicine consigned to individuals for personal consumption are prohibited and no import license will be issued by the Health Department in Hong Kong.

Restriction on import and export of pharmaceutical products
1. A person must not carry on business as an importer of pharmaceutical products unless:
(a) the person is a licensed wholesale dealer; or
(b) the person is a licensed manufacturer and the products are imported by the person for the purpose of manufacturing the persons own pharmaceutical products.
Note: An individual can't obtain license.

Shipments of samples must have the full description listed on the invoice. Shipments without clear descriptions are subject to a customs inspection.
Shipments of satellite equipment require an import permit from the Trade Department of Hong Kong.
Import/ export, transit, transshipment of strategic commodities includes munitions items, chemical and biological weapons, nuclear materials and equipment and dual-use goods must obtain strategic license from HKTID before shipment arrival or departure.

Checking Control Status of Common Dual-Use Products before shipment arrival or departure in or from Hong Kong:
https://www.stc.tid.gov.hk/service/productSearch.do?locale=eng&text=0

Shipments of Telecommunication Equipment/Radio Transmitting Equipment (e.g. mobile phone or tablet) require an import permit from the Office of the Telecommunications Authority of Hong Kong.

Prohibited or Restricted Commodities

Import of Alcoholic beverages into Hong Kong is permitted via ISC contract service.

Imports of liquor with an alcoholic strength of not more than 30% by volume measured at a temperature of 20C will be duty free.

For alcohol with an alcoholic strength of more than 30% by volume measured at a temperature of 20C, import license/permit is required and 100% duty would be imposed.

Shipment of Alternative Smoking Products into (import), from (export) and domestically within Hong Kong SAR, including electronic smoking products, heated tobacco products and herbal cigarettes, are prohibited. Please visit the Hong Kong SARs Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office website for more information on Alternative Smoking Products:

HK SAR's Tobacco & Alcohol Control Office Website

Cannabidiol (CBD) Products
Cannabidiol (CBD) will be listed as a dangerous drug under the control of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134) commencing from 1 February 2023.Any product which contains the ingredient of cannabidiol will be regarded as a dangerous drug. Importation of dangerous drugs requires an import licence and import certificate issued by the Department of Health. A valid export authorization or diversion certificate from the exporting country will also be required.

Controlled Chemicals & Hazardous Chemicals
There are 33 chemicals (including their salts except those of sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid whenever the existence of such salts are possible) grouped in three categories under the schedules of the Control of Chemicals Ordinance. Importation of controlled chemicals requires license or permit.

Please visit the following website for controlled chemicals.
https://www.customs.gov.hk/en/trade_facilitation/chemicals/types/index.html

Includes the following (this is not all inclusive and only a guideline): Military Aircraft parts, Military Motor vehicles, Tanks, night vision goggles', weapons, firearms, Artillery, Ammunition, Missiles, Explosives, military training equipment and protective personnel equipment, military electronics, space systems, Nuclear Weapons, Submersible vessels.
  • The export or import of defense articles which fall under the US State Department (DDTC) or ITAR control require special care to ensure shipments are presented to US Customs at the time of exportation or importation.
  • Failure to do so may result in penalties, seizure of the shipment.
  • Shippers who fail to provide the proper documentation and export details will have shipments returned to the shipper immediately.

UPS has compliance responsibilities under Export Administrator Regulations (EAR) and must know their customers and be aware of suspicious circumstances that may be present in an export transaction.

State Department Controlled shipments are those shipments which require either a State Department License (SDL) or SDL Exemption, also referred to as ITAR shipments.)

UPS (small package) State Department License (SDL) or State Department License Exemption (SDL Exemption) controlled shipments are prohibited to and from this country or territory.

Please note that UPS Freight Forwarding can address the customer's delivery needs by transporting these restricted shipments via alternate routes that bypass China.

Shipments of medicine require an Import License.

Viagra and any dangerous drugs shipments consigned to individuals for personal consumption are prohibited and no import license will be issued by the Health Department in Hong Kong.

Please visit the following website for a list of dangerous drugs:

http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/eps/root/en/pharmaceutical_trade/search_drug_database.html

Dangerous Drugs
The common types of dangerous drugs are stimulants, hypnotics, tranquilizers and sedatives. Examples are opium, morphine, heroin, cannabis, cocaine and amphetamines. A list of dangerous drugs is stipulated under Schedule 1 of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, Chapter 134, Laws of Hong Kong. Importation of dangerous drugs requires an import licence and import certificate issued by the Department of Health. A valid export authorization or diversion certificate from the exporting country will also be required.

Please visit the following website for a list of Dangerous Drugs:
https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap134?xpid=ID_1438402701464_001

Chinese Herbal Medicines and Proprietary Chinese Medicines
The import of proprietary Chinese medicines (pCm) and 36 types Chinese herbal medicines (Chm) as listed in the First Schedule to the Import and Export (General) Regulations (Chapter 60, sub Leg.A), Laws of Hong Kong(Opens a new window), are subject to licensing control. Importation of these articles must be covered by an import license issued by the Department of Health.

Please visit the following website for Schedule 1- Chinese Herbal Medicines:
https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap549!en?INDEX_CS=N
https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap60A!en?INDEX_CS=N&xpid=ID_1438403522974_001

Due to a regulatory change, starting April 30, 2022, the Hong Kong SAR government will prohibit the import, manufacture or sale, or use in certain places, of prescribed alternative smoking products (ASP) including electronic smoking products, heated tobacco products and herbal cigarettes.

UPS is acting in line with this regulatory amendment and starting April 23, 2022, will no longer accept and/or transport ASP including domestic, import and export shipments to, from and within Hong Kong SAR

It shall be seized by HK customs immediately once it arrives.

Electronic Waste or Waste
The import of waste, as set out in Section 20A of the Waste Disposal Ordinance (WDO), Chapter 354, Laws of Hong Kong, is subject to control by the Environmental Protection Department. Under the control, import of any waste requires a permit issued by the Department unless the waste is: a) listed in the Sixth Schedule of the WDO. b) uncontaminated as defined under the WDO and c) intended for a genuine recycling or reuse purpose.
Common examples of the 6th Schedule wastes are paper waste, textile waste, metal scrap and solid plastic waste. Common examples of hazardous wastes (non-6th Schedule wastes) are clinical waste, waste Cathode Ray Tubes (CRT) in computer monitors or television sets, and waste batteries.

Endangered animals and plants The import of endangered animals and plants, whether alive, dead, parts or derivatives is controlled under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance Chapter 586, Laws of Hong Kong. To import any endangered species, a license should be obtained for individual shipment in advance from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

Please visit the following website for the Checklist of CITES Species:
https://checklist.cites.org/#/en

Guns, Arms or Ammunition is prohibited articles in UPS global network.
Infectious Goods & Substance: Category A, UN 2814  Human, UN 2900  Animal: It is prohibited and not accepted by UPS.

Category B, UN 3373: Biological Substance, Category B : Any person who imports any human corpse, human remains, living noxious insect, living pest, any living germ or microbe of disease or any bacterial culture is required to obtain a permit from the Department of Health.

The imports and exports of rough diamonds must be covered by valid Kimberley Process Certificates (Import) and Kimberley Process Certificates (Export) respectively issued by the HKTID.

Hong Kong Law:

https://www.police.gov.hk/ppp_en/04_crime_matters/cpa/cpa_at_01.html

According to Cap 217 《Weapons Ordinance》, Laws of Hong Kong, any person who has possession of any prohibited items commits an offence.

According to Cap 217 《Weapons Ordinance》, Prohibited weapon included:

  • Chinese-style throwing dart
  • Gravity knife
  • Gravity-operated steel baton
  • Knuckleduster whether spiked or not and with or without blade
  • Chinese-style fighting iron
  • Spring-loaded steel baton
  • Any knife the blade of which is exposed by a spring or other mechanical or electric device

Any bladed or pointed weapon designed to be used in a fashion whereby the handle is held in a clenched fist and the blade or point protrudes between the fingers of the fist.

The import of mammals, birds and reptiles is controlled under the Public Health (Animals and Birds) Ordinance, Chapter 139 and Rabies Ordinance, Chapter 421, Laws of Hong Kong. These animals should not be brought into Hong Kong unless a permit is obtained in advance from the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Importation of pharmaceutical products and medicine requires an import license issued by the Department of Health prior to shipment arrival.

Please visit the following website for a list of pharmaceutical products and medicine:
http://www.drugoffice.gov.hk/eps/root/en/pharmaceutical_trade/search_drug_database.html

Pharmaceutical products and medicine consigned to individuals for personal consumption are prohibited and no import license will be issued by the Health Department in Hong Kong.
*Restriction on import and export of pharmaceutical products
(1)A person must not carry on business as an importer of pharmaceutical products unless
(a) the person is a licensed wholesale dealer; or
(b) the person is a licensed manufacturer and the products are imported by the person for the purpose of manufacturing the persons own pharmaceutical products.

# individual can't obtain license.

Cannabidiol (CBD) Product
Cannabidiol (CBD) will be listed as a dangerous drug under the control of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Cap. 134) commencing from 1 February 2023. Any product which contains the ingredient of cannabidiol will be regarded as a dangerous drug. Importation of dangerous drugs requires an import licence and import certificate issued by the Department of Health. A valid export authorization or diversion certificate from the exporting country will also be required.

An advance electronic declaration must be made to the Customs and Excise Department via the Currency and Bearer Negotiable Instruments Declaration System (CDS) for importing or exporting on a cross-boundary conveyance a large quantity of currency and bearer negotiable instruments (CBNIs) (i.e. CBNIs of a total value more than HKD120,000) as cargo in one batch.
CBNIs means:
a. a note, or coin, that is legal tender in Hong Kong or a place outside Hong Kong; or
b. a negotiable instrument (Note 1) that is:
  • in bearer form;
  • endorsed without any restriction;
  • made out to a fictitious payee;
  • in a form under which the title of it passes on delivery; or
  • signed but does not state a payees name.

Note 1: Examples of such instrument include travellers cheque, bearer cheque, promissory note, bearer bond, money order and postal order.

Meaning of *In One Batch*
CBNIs imported or exported as cargo in one batch refer to CBNIs imported or exported on a cross-boundary conveyance by:
a. a person (other than a carrier*)
b. the same carrier for the same customer* who directly engages the carrier; or
c. the same carrier for the same customer who engages the same forwarder* to arrange for the transportation of the CBNIs to the carrier (Note 2).
*Note 2: If, for example, the customer engages two different forwarders to arrange for the import or export of CBNIs, the CBNIs will be in different batches.

Please Visit the below website for more detail about CBNIs and additional requiements:
https://www.customs.gov.hk/en/service-enforcement-information/cargo-clearance/instruments/index.html

Plants and Plants Pests Under the Plant (Importation and Pest Control) Ordinance, Chapter 207, Laws of Hong Kong, it is illegal to import plants, plant pests or soil into Hong Kong without a valid license / authorization issued in advance by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
Any form of smokeless tobacco product is prohibited.

Tobacco For importation of tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, Chinese prepared tobacco & all other manufactured tobacco except tobacco intended for the manufacture of cigarette), it is requiring a license from the Customs and Excise Department and removal permits. In addition, duties are charged at specific rates per unit quantity.

Please visit the following website for Tobacco Duty Rates:
https://www.customs.gov.hk/en/trade_facilitation/dutiable/types/index.html#tobacco

Toothfish Items
Any import of live or dead toothfish items, including any flesh or other part (whether raw, or in any way processed or preserved) is prohibited except under and in accordance with an import licence issued by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.

Toy Guns/Airsoft guns requires an International Special Commodities (ISC) Contract. In addition, a Shipper Declaration to certify the toy guns or airsoft muzzle energy in less than 2 joules is also required.

NOTE: Information provided by UPS is provided AS IS, may not be current, and does not constitute legal advice. In no event shall UPS be liable for any errors in the information, forms or features made available by UPS, or by any third party site linked to from UPS. Selection and completion of proper forms for any given shipment is the sole responsibility of the shipper. All shipments are subject to the UPS Terms and Conditions of Service in effect at the time of shipping for the country or territory of origin.
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