Travelers to Taiwan warned against importing meat mooncakes

It is customary for people to give mooncakes as presents in Taiwan during Mid-Autumn Festival

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Mooncakes (AP photo)

Mooncakes (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With the Mid-Autumn Festival fast approaching, visitors are being urged not to import mooncakes that contain meat to Taiwan, due to African swine fever (ASF) prevention measures.

According to Customs Administration, X-ray inspections are being conducted on carry-on luggage of visitors from high-risk areas that have recorded outbreaks of the pig disease endemic. As travelers traditionally bring in gift sets at this time of the year, tougher border controls will be implemented to prevent meat products from entering the island.

Seven Asian countries have reported ASF, including China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and North Korea, said Customs Administration.

Both visitors and residents are advised not to bring in food products and mooncakes that contain meat to Taiwan. Such items must be declared at customs, and violators could face a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,318).

Individuals who receive festival presents that contain pork are urged to report this to the nearest Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHQ) office. The items will be destroyed after following procedures, said the Central Emergency Operation Center.

For further inquiries, call the BAPHQ hotline at 0800-761590.