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Hong Kong Imports: What (Not) to Bring

When preparing their move and their shipments, expats should read up on the requirements for Hong Kong imports. Our guide brings you up to date on general issues, import restrictions, duty-free liquor and tobacco, and other Hong Kong customs regulations.
It's best to familiarize yourself with the rules for Hong Kong imports before you pack your luggage!

Before you start packing, make sure to familiarize yourself with the relevant regulations for the importation of various items to Hong Kong. You wouldn’t want your carefully planned move to turn into a nightmare at the airport, simply because you forgot that some items might not fit the requirements. First and foremost: you can bring nearly all your personal belongings, including household goods, with you without any difficulties and without having to pay import duties.

But the Hong Kong Customs Department has a long list of items which you are not allowed to take through customs. For some of these, you can get an individual permit from the authorities. Also, make sure not to bring too much alcohol and tobacco: for any bottle or cigarette over the duty-free limit, the customs administration charges an exorbitant amount.

Household Goods and Personal Items

Importing household goods and other personal items into Hong Kong is relatively easy. Regardless of whether they are used or new, personal and household goods are free from any tariffs, import taxes, or duties. You needn’t worry about bringing your personal necessities with you on your expat assignment.

Since the items you bring with you are personal effects not intended for commercial purposes, you do not have to lodge an import declaration. For further enquires about Hong Kong’s customs regulations, please contact the Customs and Excise Department.

Customs Inspections

Everything you import to Hong Kong will be inspected by local customs officers upon arrival. You do not have to be personally present during the customs inspection process. In order to pick up your imports from the authorities after the inspection, you usually need the following documents:

  • a detailed packing list
  • an air waybill, bill of lading, or similar document
  • your valid passport (if you are personally present at clearance)
  • a photocopy of your passport and a signed letter of authorization for the person/company handling clearance (if you are not personally present)
  • the appropriate license for selected imports if there are any restricted items

Cars and Currency

You may bring your own car with you, provided that it is a right-hand drive vehicle. When entering the country, you are charged a registration tax. Furthermore, you must submit your car for emissions testing. For more information on importing your car, please refer to our guide on Hong Kong driving licenses and personal vehicles.

There are no restrictions on how much currency you can import. Therefore you can bring as much of the local currency or any foreign currency as you like.


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