Customs chiefs have doubled the amount of duty collected from cigarettes and liquor being brought into Hong Kong since they began enforcing new rules at entry points. The duty collected, cigarettes and liquor dumped by nervy visitors and penalties imposed for having excess amounts have all increased since the introduction of the red and green channel system on November 1, as has the number of prosecutions. Previously there were on average 56.5 cases a day involving cigarettes and liquor, yielding $9,375 in duty. Under the new system, an average of 119.9 cases a day have yielded $14,785 in cigarette and liquor duty. Last month alone, the number of cases of cigarettes and liquor confiscated rose 320 per cent, from an average of eight cases a day to 25.3 cases. The penalties collected rose from $30,327.70 to $75,406.10 a day. A Customs and Excise Department spokeswoman said: 'Hong Kong dealt with nearly 181 million passengers in 2004 coming in and out of control points in the territory. To deal with the increasing number of passengers, we decided to implement the red and green channel system, which facilitates passenger clearance, enhances revenue protection on dutiable goods and aligns with international practice.' The number of cases of abandoned cigarettes and liquor also rose by more than 50 per cent, from 125 a day to 189. Since the new system was implemented, more than 99 per cent of passengers have taken the green channel for customs declaration. 'Passengers passing through the green channel are not exempt from customs examination,' said the spokeswoman. 'Customs officers may select passengers from the green channel for examination based on risk management.' The red 'goods to declare' channel is for passengers with any prohibited, controlled or dutiable items to declare. 'At the goods-to-declare channel, passengers are liable to prosecution and confiscation of the prohibited or controlled items if they fail to produce a valid licence or permit for the goods,' a department spokeswoman said. Dutiable items that are not entitled to or are in excess of duty-free concessions are liable for duty payment or confiscation. Passengers with nothing to declare should exit through the green channel.