Hong Kong air cargo volumes hit by e-cigarette transhipment restrictions

Air cargo volumes from Hong Kong are impacted by regulations for transporting e-cigarettes in the Special Administrative Region (SAR) for transshipment.

The Hong Kong Freight Forwarders and Logistics Association (HAFFA) said that in April, the 2021 Smoking Ordinance came into effect, banning the import of smoking products, such as e-cigarettes, heated tobacco products and herbal cigarettes.

The ban also means that products can no longer be transshipped through Hong Kong when being trucked for onward transport overseas, although air transshipment cargo and transit cargo that remains on aircraft and ships are exempt.

A member survey suggests that 330,000 tons of air cargo per year are affected by the ban, with the value of re-exported cargo estimated at more than 120 billion yuan.

HAFFA said the ban has “stifled the environment of the freight logistics industry and negatively impacted the livelihoods of its employees”.

HAFFA President Gary Lau said: “Since the Legislative Council passed the Ordinance in October last year, the association has continued to receive a large number of complaints from our members and other industry stakeholders, reflecting that the ordinance has had a seriously detrimental effect on the working environment.

“We have written to the CEO/policy office four times about this.

“The order has led to a severe decline in the overall volume of Hong Kong’s air exports, causing industry, airlines, cargo terminals and the international airport to lose hundreds of thousands of tonnes of re-exports each year. from Hong Kong.

“It’s bound to shake Hong Kong’s status as a regional transshipment hub, and people’s livelihoods have been hit hard.”

Lau said HAFFA agrees with the original intent of the legislation to protect public health, but urged the government to allow transshipment by land.

“We will continue to do everything in our power to continue to work with the government to expand the scope of the exemption under the order to include the mode of land-to-air transshipment,” he said. he declares.

HAFFA held an emergency meeting on Sept. 9 with industry organizations, Deputy Finance Secretary Michael Wong Wai Lun, Transportation and Logistics Secretary Lam Sai Hung and Constituency Legislative Council Member Functional Transport Frankie Yick Chi Ming.

“The meeting was convened to discuss the government’s ban on the transshipment of e-cigarettes by land, a move that has stifled the environment of the freight logistics industry and negatively impacted the means livelihood of its employees,” HAFFA said.

“HAFFA has been disseminating opinions, researching solutions, and proposing a new set of secure land transportation methods to prevent illegal e-cigarette products from entering the black market through land transshipment in an effort to allay government concerns” , he added.

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