Views on hygiene issues sought

November 21, 2023

The Government today launched a two-month public consultation on a second raft of environmental hygiene-related legislative amendments. The proposed amendments are aimed at addressing problems such as shopfront extensions and water seepage in buildings.


The Environment & Ecology Bureau said the Government hopes to amend the Public Health & Municipal Services Ordinance and other related ordinances, and to introduce additional administrative measures, to enhance enforcement and deterrence in relation to long-standing environmental hygiene issues, public health nuisances and street management problems.


It explained that the proposals include empowering the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) to remove shopfront obstructions independently without having to ask for Police assistance.


The Government also hopes to extend the hours in which public officers can enter premises to investigate nuisances such as water seepage, and make it an offence not to comply with a “Notice of Intended Entry” issued by government officers.


In addition, the Government proposes to empower the FEHD to set up surveillance equipment in places that are infested with vermin and to stipulate that tampering with such equipment is an offence. It also intends to raise the penalty for causing obstruction to scavenging operations, illegal displays or affixations of bills or posters, and non-compliance with a “Nuisance Notice” or “Nuisance Order”.


The Government has been conducting a comprehensive review of existing statutory powers and penalties relating to environmental hygiene, with work under the review being carried forward in two stages. A first round of amendments came into effect on October 22, when the fixed penalties and maximum fines that can be imposed for environmental hygiene-related and shopfront extension-related offences were raised.


Having consulted the Legislative Council’s Panel on Food Safety & Environmental Hygiene on its proposals in July, the Government is now inviting submissions from the public on the second raft of proposed amendments.


From today until January 21 next year, members of the public may send their views to the FEHD by email, via e-form, by fax on 2530 1368, or by post to the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department, 45/F, Queensway Government Offices, 66 Queensway, Hong Kong.

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