Hong Kong forwarders welcome move to lift “seriously detrimental” e-cigarette ban

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The Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics (HAFFA) has welcomed a plan to lift a “seriously detrimental” ban on the transhipment of e-cigarettes by road to Hong Kong International Airport.

HAFFA said proposals to ease an April 2022 ban on the transhipment of e-cigarettes by road – originally introduced to stop the product entering the local market- would help boost airfreight volumes. 

The association said that the “loss of the huge e-cigarette product transhipment business” from the mainland had contributed to a 30% decline in airfreight volumes through the airport in January.

It said that the product had instead been transported through Macau or South Korea.

HAFFA said the government’s ban on the transhipment of e-cigarettes through Hong Kong by road has had a “seriously detrimental impact upon the industry”, and has dealt an “unprecedented blow to the economy and people’s livelihood”.

A survey of members carried out last year suggests 330,000 tons of air cargo per year are affected by the ban, with the value of the re-export cargo estimated to exceed CNY120bn.

HAFFA chairman Gary Lau said: “While HAFFA agrees with the original intention of the legislation to protect public health and establish a smoke-free Hong Kong, we also now strongly support the government’s legislative (revision) proposal to restore the existing transhipment methods in the freight logistics industry as soon as possible. It is vital to the survival of the industry.

“The Association has proposed a new, safe land transportation method to the Transport and Logistics Bureau, and firmly believes that the industry will also comply with the conditions proposed by the Bureau, and actively cooperate with the strict regulatory measures required by the government to prevent e-cigarettes from entering the local black market through secured land transfer directly to the cargo terminals at the airport.

“The Association is now actively discussing the details of the proposed intermodal transhipment plan with the government, and will do its best to resume land-air transhipment of e-cigarette products as early as possible.”

Call for road-air to be allowed for Hong Kong e-cigarette transhipments

Hong Kong airfreight volumes hit by e-cigarette transhipment restrictions

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]