TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Changhua County man was fined NT$200,000 after customs officials caught him bringing two boxes of pork-containing pastries from China into Taiwan.
The Administrative Enforcement Agency’s Changhua Branch said in a press release on Wednesday (Feb. 3) that a Lukang Township resident surnamed Wang (王) had bought two boxes of “chicken cakes,” a delicacy that contained pork, from a duty-free store in the Chinese city of Guangzhou in May 2019.
Upon returning to Taiwan, Wang did not declare his purchase at customs. As he continued through to the arrivals area, two customs officials caught up with him and asked him to hand over the cakes for inspection, after which the products were confirmed to contain pork, the branch said.
Wang told the officials that he had been carrying the boxes in his hands as he walked through customs and that no one had notified him the items were subject to inspection. He was given a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,900) for violating Article 34 of the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Disease.
Wang told the agency that he felt like he had been set up by the officials. Nevertheless, he paid the fine at once, according to the agency.
The agency said that the name “chicken cakes” is misleading, as the Guangzhou delicacy contains pork, sugar, salt, and pepper, without a trace of chicken.
Noting that Wang had unintentionally violated the law out of confusion about the content of his purchases, the agency urged the public to familiarize themselves with related regulations to avoid being slapped with heavy fines.
The agency said most people fined under similar circumstances are, like Wang, unaware their goods are controlled items that need to be declared.
In related news, a Vietnamese new immigrant was also fined NT$200,000 in August 2019 for bringing ham sausage into Taiwan, according to a CNA report.
As she was unable to pay the fine immediately, the authorities allowed her to pay in installments. She agreed to monthly payments of NT$3,000 from February 2021 to June 2026.