Prolonged just before the pandemic shut down Hong Kong’s vibrant retail sector, traders from China crossed the border to buy everything from cosmetics to cars tax-totally free for financially rewarding reselling on returning property, where by prospective buyers apprehensive about the excellent of regionally out there items.
The brisk parallel import trade, which involved some Hong Kong people using products into China, survived protests by Hong Kong people who felt it prompted shortages of in-demand goods these as infant system and elevated rates.
COVID-19 travel limitations shut down parallel investing additional effectively than any legislation could.
But in just times of cross-border vacation resuming amongst China and Hong Kong on Feb. 6, the parallel import trade picked up. Also revived were calls from Hong Kong residents who want the so-known as “ants trade” regulated if not shut down.
Around Exit C of the Sheung Shui Station of the Mass Transit Railway (MTR), more than 10 persons presumed to be parallel importers gathered to distribute products all-around 11 a.m. on Feb. 12, the 1st Sunday just after the border reopened. The station is in the Sheung Shui District of the New Territories, an region of Hong Kong that is closest to Shenzhen, a metropolis in China’s Guangdong province. The Sheung Shui Station is one particular end from the immigration regulate position at Lo Wu.
The quantity of individuals with possibly vacant or jammed luggage grew as Sunday wore on. VOA Cantonese noticed acquiring and selling of purple wine, each day necessities and foods.
Hong Kong Police Commissioner Raymond Siu Chak-yee said during a February 11 push briefing that the Immigration Department and the Foodstuff and Environmental Cleanliness Section experienced stepped up crackdowns on well-liked parallel trading spots by issuing tickets. He said the procedure will proceed as part of an exertion to nip the challenge in the bud.
Leung Kam Sing, a spokesperson for the North District Parallel Imports Problem Group, explained to VOA Cantonese that the parallel import things to do resumed quicker than he expected.
“If you look at exactly where we are standing now, some folks are currently distributing the merchandise, and there are now bagged products,” he stated, including that parallel importing thrives in Hong Kong for the reason that individuals in China be concerned about the good quality of prescribed drugs and cosmetics there.
In accordance to a report by the community newspaper Ming Pao, a lot more than 10 folks collected through the peak period of the parallel import routines close to Sheung Shui MTR Station on Feb. 9 and dispersed when police arrived.
Leung stated that the “ants trade” in advance of and after the pandemic produced a rubbish dilemma in the Sheung Shui region and elevated crowds.
He included that some of the traders maintain Hong Kong ID playing cards and referred to as on the governments of China and Hong Kong to cooperate in combating parallel buying and selling activities. “I have frequently reiterated that it is not only Chinese mainland holidaymakers but also Hong Kong people today who engage in parallel imports,” Leung reported. “We all hope that the authorities will actually face up to this difficulty, for illustration, continuing to use the blacklist of (parallel importers) who go as a result of customs. For case in point, if some Hong Kong people interact in parallel imports, will the Shenzhen customs take some [actions]? If there are items that are out of achieve for Hong Kong customs, will there be some actions by Shenzhen customs?”
In accordance to stats from the Hong Kong Immigration Section, about 2.43 million people today from China entered and exited through border command factors from Feb. 6-12, or a lot more than the 2.4 million who visited in the complete pre-pandemic thirty day period of December 2019, in accordance to the Hong Kong Immigration Section.
Leung, who launched a lot of anti-parallel import functions in advance of the pandemic, explained that under the expansive, vaguely worded National Safety Legislation, the team will not commence a campaign. But if parallel investing intensifies, he thinks upset nearby citizens may well respond spontaneously.
He seemed to political teams energetic in the group for yrs to “feel the reaction of the inhabitants. I believe even if my corporation does not carry out (anti-parallel import operations), (the political teams) should really all communicate out for the citizens.”