Visa & Administration
Hong Kong Customs Regulations
Hong Kong Customs Regulations: Alcohol and Tobacco
As described on the previous page, Hong Kong customs regulations don’t include any import tariffs on goods intended for personal use. There are only four exceptions to this rule: liquors, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, and methyl alcohol.
This does not mean, though, that Hong Kong customs regulations forbid you to bring any of your favorite spirits from home. However, you need to be at least 18 years old, and you may only bring a certain amount of alcohol and tobacco duty-free.
According to Hong Kong customs regulations, you can bring for your personal use one liter of alcoholic liquor with an alcoholic strength of more than 30 %. You may also bring the following amount of tobacco products:
- 19 cigarettes OR
- 1 cigar OR
- 25 grams of other manufactured tobacco
If you exceed the given quantity, Hong Kong customs regulations demand you to declare the imported alcohol and/or tobacco. Then you have to pay import duties.
Hong Kong Customs Regulations: Restricted Items
There are several sorts of items which might cause trouble for expats and travelers, according to Hong Kong customs regulations.
In general, you need a special permit to import any kind of pharmaceutical products. However, if you bring medication in your personal baggage, you may be exempted from this aspect of Hong Kong customs regulations. The medical drugs must be intended for your personal use only, and you should bring them in reasonable quantities. To avoid unnecessary problems, bring a certificate by your doctor. This applies to both prescription drugs and all over-the-counter meds from your home country. But don’t worry – finding a pharmacy in Hong Kong is easy enough anyway.
You are not allowed to bring animals into Hong Kong unless you have obtained a special permit. You must also complete the necessary paperwork prior to your arrival. You can find more information on Hong Kong customs regulations for pets in our article on pets in Hong Kong.
Food and Plants
Another item which may problems at customs is food. You need a special permit for bringing food and plants into the country. There are additional Hong Kong customs regulations, which restrict the import of meat, milk products, and other foodstuffs. To avoid any hassle, it is best not to take any food from home at all and directly start with the local cuisine.
When you relocate to Hong Kong, please bear in mind that laws regarding arms and ammunition are much stricter than in many other countries. You need a permit for owning almost all kinds of weapons in Hong Kong. The possession of certain weapons is prohibited completely, including personal protection items such as 'mace' spray or tasers, which are perfectly legal in other countries. If you still want to import any kind of guns, ammunition, fireworks, or knives, including imitation and replica weapons, you have to obtain a special permit prior to your departure.
Hong Kong customs regulations outlaw the import of other items as well, especially of the following ones: drugs, psychotropic substances, controlled chemicals, antibiotics (if not intended for personal use), rough diamonds, endangered species, and telecommunication equipment. For importing any of these, you have to obtain a valid permit from the customs authorities in advance.