Useful information for sending a parcel to Hong Kong
As an Asian business centre, packages regularly cross the border to Hong Kong. To ensure that your shipment arrives smoothly, you should know a bit more about the country's regulations.
Like many countries around the world, Hong Kong used to be a British
colony. Britain gained control of this Asian nation in the 1840s. For a short time, Japan was in control, before Britain again became the governing power. This arrangement remained until 1997, when Hong Kong was ceded back to China
, its mother country.
Despite being under Chinese control, Hong Kong maintains much of its previous flavour in both government and economic policy. Hong Kong is a melding of both eastern and western influences, with a much more open policy than neighbouring China. Visitors can still see the distinct mark of the British occupation period in both education and business. While Hong Kong turns to China for guidance on military and foreign affairs, the largely-autonomous government is free to develop their own policies in other areas. Hong Kong has a relatively free economy, making it a mecca for trade in the region. Taxes are low and the financial sector is strong. While the seven million citizens make for a high population density, the people have a comfortable standard of living.
Most world businesses with Asian offices or headquarters make their home in Hong Kong. Because of the high population density, Hong Kong is extremely weak in agricultural resources, making it necessary to import most of what the citizens need for daily living. Hong Kong also acts a manufacturing middleman, distributing products made in nearby China. Almost the entire economy of Hong Kong rests in the service sector.
Hong Kong has some of the most lax import and export regulations in the world. Experts designate Hong Kong as a laissez-faire capitalist market. While Hong Kong does publish a list of items prohibited from import, it pays to read the regulations carefully. Upon closer examination, even these prohibited items may be sent across the border if specific requirements and licensing is obtained. The list of prohibited items include:
- outboard engines,
- left-hand drive vehicles,
- animal products,
- and radio equipment.
Besides these categories of discouraged shipments, there are more than two dozen other categories of products that are considered controlled or restricted. This list includes:
- radioactive material,
- Chinese herbal medicines,
- meat products,
- and rough-cut diamonds.
For more information, see the full listing
published by the Hong Kong government
. Exploring this site will uncover vital import information, including what types of permits are needed for each category of goods and what departments issue this necessary paperwork.
As a business centre, Hong Kong is focused on making business transactions as easy as possible. Because of this, most small, letter-size shipments are completely duty free
and easily pass through the border of Hong Kong. This makes it extremely easy to ship paperwork, proposals and other business mail from the United Kingdom to Hong Kong. Packages, however, need full customs forms and proper declarations.
It is also recommended that parcels be packaged securely, as the trip from the UK to Hong Kong is quite long.
Image © Wolfiewolf