• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 6:44pm
NewsHong Kong

Leung defends tough measures to stop cross-border traders

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 02 February, 2013, 4:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 02 February, 2013, 8:56pm
 

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on Saturday defended new government measures to limit the amount of infant milk formula allowed to leave Hong Kong – saying they were harsh but necessary.

“I know some of the measures are what people would call ‘ruthless’, but we believe they are needed to achieve our objective [of ensuring Hong Kong babies get what they need],” Leung said.

On Friday, the government announced the new plans aimed at curbing mainland traders in infant milk powder, which has led to shortages in the city.

Among them is the two can or 1.8kg limit, imposed under a legislative amendment expected to take effect this month. Those found guilty of breaking the rule could face seven years in jail or be fined up to HK$2 million.

Leung was asked whether similar measures might be applied to other goods facing shortages due to parallel trading. He said the government “would monitor the situation closely and do what is necessary to ensure Hong Kongers’ needs were met first”.

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung said police would work closely with other government departments to control parallel traders.

Tsang told local radio that the milk formula shortage was related to parallel trading.

Under the new measures, mainlanders who repeatedly travel across the border with bulky packages could be blacklisted by the Immigration Department, with their names passed to Shenzhen authorities.

Also, the MTR Corporation will tighten the weight limit for passenger luggage from the current 32kg to 23kg from Monday.

Meanwhile, a 24-hour government hotline set up on Friday for local parents to order milk formula brands has received over 2,000 inquiries. Around 1,000 of the inquiries were passed on to brand suppliers.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

alexcheung888
Give me a break. You can walk into any Mannings or Wellcome supermarket and buy milk powder. How has HK become such an insecure and whinnying bunch of losers. If the Mainland wants our Heath services, milk powder and handbags let's sell as much of it as we can. How difficult is it to secure a bulk milk order from Oz or NZ and we can sell milk to the cows come home. Glad to see CY tackle the serous issues we are facing.
johndoe
You're quick to throw out those criticisms of HKers, I see. Hope you feel better. Now try to buy milk powder regularly in the New Territories, especially at MTR stations near Mainland China. What do you mean "as much as we can" ? Are you saying that the shops are not selling enough? HK can not solve the problem of the milk scandals and quality control in the entire Mainland, there is no way to get that type of retail capacity here. Having individuals carrying goods is obviously a stop gap solution and HK is not at fault here, it is mainland policies, mainland quality control and mainland unscrupulous business people. Stop blaming HK at every occasion, it makes me sick.
sungsdc
short term solution: stores should limit sales per person. They often do this for high-demand products in supermarkets in North America.
MMM
The problem is not the stores or the people buying the formula. It's the system that let's them make profit. Stop that and the problem will go away immediately. Limit the amount of formula you can take out to 895 grams, a spoonful less than a can -- just like the way they limit the number of cigarettes you can take into HK to 19, just one short of a pack. Hit the profit, not the traders or stores or suppliers or people taking stuff on trains. Eliminate the profit opportunity! Can't you see? Can't you see?
johndoe
That's cute, but why should a store limit sales, makes no sense.
donniemcm
They are already doing it but you know, it's easy to get over it.
SpeakFreely
mr. Leung and AOs, if I'm you I will watch out those suppliers as they just want to make money. I tested the outline and they say they will put my order to the suppliers but can't tell how long will it take to deliver. That's the problem! They are playing games with you. If I am you, I will monitor their delivery. Ideally, you should force them to deliver to a central delivery centre with a time commitment so the delivery can be guaranteed. Or they committed t deliver to a 711 or convenient store inside MTR as after I talked to the hotline I am not sure if they have a detail shipping plan yet...
SpeakFreely
Why would we need to defend what we do to ensure we have adequate supplies to local babies? Are we sick? Or we are so brain washed that we have to defend our so called free economy but in fact we are not all as everything is controlled by developers here. Come on wake up HK.
johndoe
There is something called "capacity" and "shelf space" in retailing, so before you use supply chain management terms please learn the whole vocabulary first. Or to be more blunt, you do not seem to understand that there is limited capacity and capacity is not an elastic factor no matter your wishful thinking.
SpeakFreely
Mr. leung and all our so called capable AO, no need to impose any law if the hotline, ideally if u can put up a website quickly ( probably another 6 months for u low tech guys, should consider outsource to Amazon, haha), it should be able to ensure supply to local babies if suppliers are not playing games here as I wrote even before u acted. If supplies are secured for locals, no need to stop the shops to make money by ripping of mainland guys who want to buy powder from us, it is great biz opportunities. No need to slow down the queue at the border too. Please think mr. AOs.

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