Taipei, Over 700 shipments of goods sent to Taiwan through air express companies in January were found by customs officials to contain items not allowed to enter the country, a Customs Administration official said Monday.
The items were detected during a special investigation conducted by the administration in January in two phases as part of an overall effort to keep pork items from countries affected by Asian swine fever (ASF) out of Taiwan.
The campaign has sought to keep ASF, which is lethal to pigs, from harming Taiwan's pigfarming industry.
It was also targeted at high risk goods, including firearms, illegal drugs and other controlled substances, meat products, counterfeit products and items that have been disguised to avoid tariffs, the Customs Administration said.
In the first phase, held Jan. 911, 428 shipments with prohibited items were detected, said Customs Administration Deputy Director General Peng Yingwei
Four involved illegal drugs, weighing 318 kilograms, and 218 involved agricultural and food products, weighing 1,222 kg, Peng said.
During the second phase, held Jan. 2224, 313 air express shipments were found with prohibited items, including two with pork products from China, weighing 4.8 kg; 138 involving food products, weighing 1,325.8 kg.; and 15 with counterfeit products, Peng said.
The two courier shipments with pork products did not have letters of authorization from their senders needed by courier operators to broker the goods using formal customs clearance procedures, and they have been sent to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), Peng said.
According to an existing law on customs clearance procedures for air express shipments, controlled commodities such as food, medicine, agricultural and livestock products, medical equipment, and animal and plant products cannot be cleared through customs using simplified customs procedures.
If a courier violates the law, the Customs Administration may issue a warning and demand corrective action by a certain deadline. If no action is taken by the deadline, the operator can have its right to broker goods through customs suspended for up to six months, the agency said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel