Chinese tourist shocked by NT$200,000 fine for bringing meat snacks into Taiwan

Chinese female tourist exclaims, 'I never thought snacks were banned,' after receiving NT$200,000 fine for 1.2 kg of meat snacks

Snacks seized from Huang.

Snacks seized from Huang. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Chinese female tourist was shocked to find out that she is being fined NT$200,000 (US$6,500) for bringing 1.2 kilograms of meat snacks from China into the Taiwan last night (Dec. 21), reported CNA.

Late last night, a 32-year-old Chinese woman surnamed Huang (黃), who came to Taiwan for travel, received the stiff fine after Customs officers discovered she had stuffed 1.2 kilograms of chicken, duck, pork, and beef jerky into her suitcase. Taiwan has imposed a strict ban on meat products from countries affected by the highly contagious African swine fever (ASF) virus.

Taipei Customs this morning announced that when Huang arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport late last night, she tried to pass through the "Nothing to Declare" counter (Green Channel). However, officers stopped her to inspect her luggage and inside they discovered multiple packages of chicken, duck, pork, and beef jerky, among other products.

She was then transferred to the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine, where she was fined NT$200,000 for violating the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases (動物傳染病防治條例規定).

In order to prevent the spread of ASF, Customs units have strengthened the epidemic prevention level and widely publicized the new regulations and fines. However, yesterday, three tourists were fined NT$200,000 for trying to bring meat products into the country

The three tourists who have been fined said that they had not paid attention to Taiwan's new epidemic prevention regulations. When asked whether they had heard the announcements on the plane about the ban on meat products, one said they had not heard them, another said they were uncertain, while the third said they did not pay attention.

Despite the fact that the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is festooned with numerous notices warning passengers not attempt to bring meat products into Taiwan, Huang ignored them as she said she just wanted to leave the airport as soon as possible, to start her tour of Taiwan. Huang said that she could not have possibly paid much attention to the text on the posters, and all of the meat products she carried were "just snacks."

Huang said that the products are readily available at supermarkets and duty-free shops in China. Regarding the ban on meat products, she said, "I didn't expect that even snacks were banned."