Hong Kong and United States Customs officers will conduct a series of joint factory observation visits in Hong Kong starting from March 6.

The Head of Trade Controls of the Customs and Excise Department Cheung Sai-yan, said that the joint visits are part of the on-going cooperation between the Customs authorities of Hong Kong and the US to facilitate legitimate textiles and clothing trade between the two places, as well as to combat illegal trans-shipment of textiles and clothing products.

‘The joint visits will keep the US up-to-date on the manufacture of textiles and clothing products in Hong Kong and the implementation of Hong Kong’s origin control program for textiles and clothing exports,’ said Mr. Cheung. ‘The visits will also facilitate a better understanding by the US Customs authorities of the effectiveness of Hong Kong’s origin control system in ensuring that textiles and clothing exports claiming to be products of Hong Kong are genuinely manufactured in Hong Kong.

‘This will also be conducive to greater facilitation for the legitimate textiles trade especially at a time when restrictive measures are still in place against certain textiles exports from other economies in the region,’ he added.

The joint visit teams, comprising Hong Kong and US Customs officers, will visit only those textile factories that have given prior consent.

Mr. Cheung said joint visit team members will not undertake any enforcement activities during the visits. Enforcement activities, if necessary, will be undertaken by Hong Kong Customs officers independently and separately from the visits.

As in previous rounds of joint visits, the visits in March will not disrupt the normal production and operation of the factories.

The visits, starting from March 6, will last for about two weeks. Detailed arrangements for the visits have been announced by the Trade and Industry Department separately through a Notice to Exporters cum Certificate of Origin Circular.