Food Safety Focus (189th Issue, April 2022) – Article 4
Opening of Sea Route as a Contingency Measure for Import of Fresh Food
Reported by Mr. Kenneth YIP, Scientific Officer,
Risk Communication Section, Centre for Food Safety
Mainland China is the main source of fresh food in Hong Kong. Having regard to the import of food from Mainland China via the land route being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in February this year, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) fully supported the open up of importing fresh food via sea route by swiftly setting up five temporary food inspection checkpoints at New Yau Ma Tei Public Cargo Working Area, Kwai Chung Customhouse, Cheung Sha Wan Wholesale Food Market, and Hongkong International Terminals Limited and Modern Terminals Limited in Kwai Tsing Container Terminals. A task force was also formed under the CFS for on-site examination of import documents and sample collection for testing under the risk-based principle.
Since 19 February 2022, vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and poultry have been shipped to Hong Kong from Guangzhou Panyu Lianhuashan Port, Shenzhen Yantian Port, Shenzhen Dachan Bay, Shekou Container Terminal, Nansha New Port and Qingdao via the sea route to maintain the daily market supply of these essential fresh produce.
To facilitate smooth and swift release of food consignments, importers are advised to submit the arrival report and relevant import documents to the CFS for every consignment two days before the arrival. Apart from the conventional way of submitting physical documents, importers are encouraged to use the fast track online mode through the Food Trader Portal. The trade may refer to the relevant leaflet or dial the 24-hour enquiry hotline on 2708 9591 for detailed arrangements.
Apart from development of water transportation, the CFS also gives active support to promoting rail route transportation under planning and the implementation of various measures to improve land transport arrangements.
Figure 3: CFS staff conducting food inspections at one of the temporary food inspection checkpoints