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Import Control and Food Safety Guidelines

Guide to Import of Marine Products into Hong Kong

Purpose

The purpose of this guide is to provide general guidance for importers who wish to import marine products into Hong Kong.

Statutory Requirements

In Hong Kong, the legal framework of food safety control is laid down in Part V of Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance, Cap. 132 and its subsidiary legislation. A list of the subsidiary legislation is at Appendix. The basic requirement, as stipulated in Section 54 of the Ordinance, is that no food intended for sale should be unfit for human consumption.

Importers can purchase the main Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation from the Publications Sales Unit at Room 626, 6/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong. Importers may also browse the website (https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/?_lang=en) for the Hong Kong food legislation.

Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

Guide to Import of Marine Products into Hong KongFood and Environmental Hygiene Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is responsible for implementing territory-wide policies of food safety control and enforcing the food legislation. To this end, part of its duties is to exercise the power provided under Section 62(1) of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance to collect food samples at points of entry to the territory for analyses, including bacteriological and chemical examinations.

Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will pay the market price of any samples taken from importers. Due to difficulties in ascertaining the price at entry points, the Department will issue a sampling notice to importers when samples are collected. The notice will specify items and quantities of food samples which have been taken. Importers could send an invoice and a copy of the notice afterwards to the Department for payment.

Importers

Food importers, through close liaison with exporting countries, are responsible for ensuring marine products they procure comply with the local legislation. Since marine products, being more liable to bacteriological or chemical contamination in the harvesting zone or handling process, are considered as high-risk food items, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department strongly encourages importers to obtain health certificates issued by health authorities of countries of origin to accompany their imports certifying that the marine products concerned are fit for human consumption.

Arrival of Consignment

Section 59(1)(c) of the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance provides Food and Environmental Hygiene Department with the power to make special procedures for examining imported food. When a consignment of marine products arrives at entry points of Hong Kong, it may be subject to inspection or sampling by the Department in risk assessment basis.

Where to make applications or enquiries?

Applications related to payment of samples should be addressed to the Centre of Food Safety of Food and Environmental Hygiene Department at 43/F, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong . For enquiries, please feel free to call the Department's Chief Health Inspector (Import/ Export)6 at 2867 5990 or 24-hour hotline on food safety at 2868 0000.

Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

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Last Revision Date : 06-11-2017