Hong Kong's Punishments For Baby Formula Exports Get More Visibility

Hong Kong's seaports, airports, and customs checkpoints have enhanced visibility of a new regulation that levies a two-year prison term for travelers taking more than 1.8 kilograms of baby formula, powdered milk, and soya milk powder out of the Special Administrative Region.

The edict went into effect on March 1, 2013, and prohibits the unlicensed export of powdered formula, including milk powder and soya milk powder, for infants and children under 36 months.

Offenders are liable on conviction to a fine of HKD500,000 and to imprisonment for two years.

The new rule defines "powdered formula" as a substance in powder form that is or appears to be for consumption by a person aged under 36 months; and is or appears to be milk or milk-like substance in powder form to satisfy wholly or partly the nutritional requirement of a person aged under 36 months.

There are only a couple exemptions that may aid some travelers who are, for example, going between mainland China and Hong Kong. The new regulation does not apply to powdered formula that is exported in the accompanied personal baggage of a person aged 16 or above leaving Hong Kong if the person did not leave Hong Kong in the last 24 hours; and if the formula does not exceed 1.8 kg in total net weight.

The other exemption is if the person left Hong Kong one or more times in the last 24 hours; and the person is leaving Hong Kong together with a child aged under 36 months; and the formula is in an unsealed container and not does exceed a reasonable quantity for the child's consumption during the traveling time from a point of exit in Hong Kong to the next point of entry in a place outside of Hong Kong.

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