Customs detects 19k cases in 2023

March 27, 2024
Annual review
Annual review:

Commissioner of Customs & Excise Louise Ho (fourth left) chairs the department’s year-end press conference.

The Customs & Excise Department detected a total of 19,120 cases in 2023, a 1.7-fold increase from the 2022 figure.


Commissioner of Customs & Excise Louise Ho announced the figures during a press conference today to review the department’s work last year.


Among the cases detected, about 62% were related to illicit cigarettes, followed by cases related to dangerous drugs and intellectual property rights infringement.


Ms Ho pointed out that the number of illicit cigarette cases in 2023 increased 2.4-fold to 11,805 cases from 2022, with 652 million cigarettes seized, representing an 11% drop year-on-year.


This was due to the bounce back of cross-boundary passenger and vehicle trips following the full resumption of normal travel between the Mainland and Hong Kong early last year, the increased duty on cigarettes announced in the Budget as well as the enhanced enforcement actions against visitors bringing in excessive quantities of duty-free cigarettes and the selling and buying of illicit cigarette activities in the city, she explained.


Ms Ho also noted that the department detected 1,362 drug cases in 2023, a 46% increase compared to the previous year. A total seizure of about 9.5 tonnes of drugs was made, representing a surge of 37% from 2022.


In addition, Customs detected 703 intellectual property rights infringement cases last year, representing an annual increase of 34%. The seizure value of infringing items rose 60% to around $288 million as compared to 2022's figure.


Meanwhile, a total of 221 smuggling cases were detected last year, a 2% drop on 2022, with the total seizure value increasing 1.4-fold to $3.165 billion. 


Ms Ho also outlined the department’s work to facilitate trade and clearance, adding that a dedicated express route for air and land fresh and live products is expected to be launched in the second quarter of this year to facilitate the export of high-quality food from the Mainland to overseas markets, as well as introducing fresh products from other places into the Mainland.


She revealed that the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Customs Clearance Information Platform will be launched in the first half of this year, to provide a one-stop service for travellers and the transportation industry in the three places.


As regards to human resources, Ms Ho said about 90 customs inspectors and 200 customs officers will be recruited this year.

Back to top