Taipei-E-commerce operators caught posting or selling non-quarantined meat products will soon be subject to fines of up to NT$150,000 (US$4,921), the Council of Agriculture (COA) warned Monday.
The new rule came in the wake of recent amendments to the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases that cleared the legislative floor Dec. 3.
As part of the revised statute, a new clause was added, forbidding e-commerce operators from posting online ads about non-quarantined imported products on their websites, with violators subject to fines of between NT$30,000 and NT$150,000.
COA head Chen Chi-chung (???), who was inspecting the handling process for international packages at Chunghwa Post headquarters in Taipei, told reporters that the new measure is scheduled to take effect Friday.
According to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), the amended law was drawn up as part of efforts to minimize the risk of animal diseases from entering Taiwan, especially in the wake of the ongoing African swine fever (ASF) outbreak in China.
Prior to the amendment, the statute did not have any provisions to prevent imported meat items, including canned pet food, from being posted on e-commerce platforms without receiving prior quarantine approval from the local authorities.
Under current regulations, visitors from ASF-affected and high- risk countries or areas who attempt to bring meat items into Taiwan are subject to a fine of NT$200,000 for first-time offenders, he warned.
According to the COA official, a total of 149 meat products were seized in September alone at Taiwan's airports and sea ports, which is a drastic jump from the average of 18 items per month from August 2018 to August this year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel