Joint inspections eye textile plants

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 10 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 10 August, 1999, 12:00am

Hong Kong and United States officials will join forces next month to inspect local textile factories as part of their continuing effort to crack down on illegal shipments of goods between the two sides.

It will be the sixth such exercise since 1996, involving factories that have given prior consent to the visits.

'As part of our enhanced co-operation with the US to combat illegal transshipment of textiles and clothing products, the joint factory observation visits will continue to be conducted,' head of Trade Controls, Customs and Excise Department, Andrew Wong said.

'A better understanding by the US of our efforts will help enhance the two sides' co-operation and effectiveness in combatting textiles transshipment.' However, the inspection teams will not carry out any law enforcement activities.

Mr Wong said if officers felt compelled to make reports on activities at the sites, they would be done at a later date by local officers.

The US has maintained pressure on Hong Kong to adhere to industry quotas and clamp down on illegal trans-shipment of textiles and clothing from Hong Kong.

There have also been recent moves by Washington to scrutinise more closely shipments of technology that could be applied to nuclear weaponry to Hong Kong, amid political concerns about such goods being transshipped to the mainland.