First toothfish seizure

Hong Kong Customs, on the 8th of July, seized about 220 kilograms of suspected illegally imported toothfish items with an estimated market value of about HK$120,000. This is the first seizure of toothfish items made by Customs since the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources Ordinance (CAMLR Ordinance) and its subsidiary legislation came into effect on the 1st of July this year.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers inspected an air consignment, declared as carrying frozen fish, imported from the Netherlands into Hong Kong. Upon examination, they found in 32 paper boxes the batch of toothfish items suspected of being imported without a licence issued by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD). The case was handed over to the AFCD for follow-up investigation.

Under the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (Toothfish Catch Documentation Scheme) Regulation, any import, export or re-export of live or dead toothfish items is prohibited except under and in accordance with relevant licences issued by the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation. The maximum penalty as stipulated in the CAMLR Ordinance is a fine of HK$100,000 and imprisonment for one year.

The public may report any suspected smuggling activities to Customs' 24-hour hotline 2545 6182 or its dedicated crime-reporting email account (crimereport@customs.gov.hk). For details of the CAMLR Ordinance and the requirements concerned, visit www.afcd.gov.hk/english/fisheries/CCAMLR/ccamlr_Main.html

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