TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Consignees of international parcels found to contain pork products will be fined up to NT$1 million (US$33,559) from Friday (May 20) as Taiwan endeavors to keep African swine fever (ASF) at bay.
Currently, packages from overseas containing the contraband meat will be sealed and returned, with importers reprimanded but not penalized. However, this has proven to be too lenient and failed to deter attempted smuggling, according to the Central Emergency Operation Center (CEOC).
As such, the authorities have moved to impose financial penalties on recipients found to have violated the import rule. Offenders will be fined NT$200,000 for the first time and NT$1 million for repeated violations pursuant to the Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases (動物傳染病防治條例).
This applies to parcels from countries and areas designated as ASF-affected, including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, North Korea, South Korea, Russia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, Mongolia, East Timor, India, Poland, Germany, Bhutan, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Lithuania, Italy, and North Macedonia.
Members of the public are warned not to ask their friends or relatives overseas to send pork goods to Taiwan. Customs seized 569 such items, weighing a total of 542.67 kilograms, between September and April. Among them, four pork shipments from Thailand tested positive for the swine virus.