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Import/Export Control: Prohibited Articles

Hong Kong is a free port where general goods can enter and leave the territory freely. However, for safety, environmental protection and intellectual property rights purposes, certain types of products are classified as controlled items which can only be imported or exported with the required licences, permits and/or certificates issued by relevant departments.

Prohibited Articles

NameDescriptionLicences/Certificates Required and Issuing Departments
Dangerous drugs- Stimulants, hypnotics, tranquilisers and sedatives; opium, morphine, heroin, marijuana, cocaine and amphetamine etc
- For details, see Dangerous Drugs Ordinance Schedule 1
- Health Dept: Import/export licence/ certificate
- Importing/exporting country: import/export authorisation/ diversion certificate
Controlled chemicals- 25 substances which are precursors or essential chemicals for manufacture of dangerous drugs or psychotropic substances, e.g. acetic anhydride, ephedrine and pseudoephedrine
- For details, see Control of Chemicals Ordinance
- Customs & Excise Dept: Import/export authorisation/removal permit/storage approval
Pharmaceutical products and medicines- For details, see Import and Export Ordinance
-Transhipment goods may be exempted from licensing requirements under certain conditions
Health Dept: Import/export licence
Endangered species- Including endangered animals and plants, whether alive, dead, parts or derivatives
- Import of specimens must be inspected by authorised persons
- For details, see Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance
- Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Dept: Import/export licence
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora: export licence (import)
Live animals (import)- Mammals, birds and reptiles
- For details, see Public Health (Animals & Birds) Ordinance, and Rabies Ordinance
- Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Dept: import licence
Plants and plant pests (import)- Including plants, plant pests or soil
- Exemption: plants produced in Mainland China; and cut flowers, fruits and vegetables for consumption from the Chinese mainland or other countries
- For details, see Plant (Importation and Pest Control) Ordinance
- Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Dept: import licence/ authorisation
Pesticides- For details, see Import and Export Ordinance, and Pesticides Ordinance
- For methyl bromide, see Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance
- Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Dept: import/export licence/ pesticide licence (import)
- Trade & Industry Dept: methyl bromide import/export licence
Radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus (import)- For details, see Import (Radiation) (Prohibition) Regulations and its schedules- Health Dept: import licence
- Radiation Board: radioactive substances licence/irradiating apparatus licence/ exemption
Strategic commodities- Including high performance digital computers, complex semi-conductor memory storage, single-mode optical fibre, sophisticated communication systems, chemical weapon precursors, and articles for use in connection with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons
- For details, see Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations and its schedules
- Trade & Industry Dept: import/export licence
Explosives, firearms and ammunition- For details, see ammunition list in Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations and Firearms and  Ammunition Ordinance- Trade & Industry Dept: import/export licence
- Hong Kong Police Force: provisional licence or dealer’s licence/arms licence (firearms and ammunition)
Weapons- Including Chinese-style throwing dart, knuckle duster, gravity knife and gravity- operated steel baton
- For details, see Weapons Ordinance
- Hong Kong Police Force: arms licence
Rough diamonds- Means diamonds that are unworked or simply sawn, cleaved or bruted
- Exemption: transit or air transhipment
- For details, see Import and Export Ordinance, and Transhipment Cargo Exemption Scheme
- Trade & Industry Dept: Kimberley Process Certificate (import/export)
Rice, frozen or chilled meat and poultry- Rice importers must first register with the Trade & Industry Dept as rice stockholders
- Exemption: transhipment cargo
- For details, see Reserved Commodities (Control of Imports, Exports and Reserve Stocks) Regulations, and Transhipment Cargo Exemption Scheme
- Trade & Industry Dept: import/export licence (rice)
- Food & Environmental Health Dept: import/ export licence (frozen or chilled meat and poultry)
Game, meat, poultry and eggs- For details, see Imported Game, Meat, Poultry and Eggs Ordinance- Food & Environmental Health Dept: import licence
- Supervisory department in country of origin or re-export: official certificate/transhipment certificate (import)
Ozone depleting substances- Certain ozone depleting substances are subject to quota and licensing control, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, carbon tetrachloride, hydrobromofluorocarbons (HBFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
- For details, see Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance
- Trade & Industry Dept: import/export licence
- Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Dept: permit for use of methyl bromide for quarantine (import)
Radio transmitting equipment- For details, see Telecommunications Ordinance- Office of the Telecommunications Authority: import/export permit/radio dealers licence
Optical disc mastering and replication equipment- For details, see Import and Export (General) Ordinance- Customs & Excise Dept: import/export licence

For details on controlled imports and exports, please make enquiries with Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department: (852) 2815 7711.

Content provided by Picture: HKTDC Research
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