Guest post by Brian Chan, research assistant in the University of Hong Kong, and a Juris Doctor Candidate

Following previous discussion on parallel traders and infant milk across Hong Kong-Mainland borders, there is a new measure adopted by the Shenzhen Immigration in early July, and the short-term effects of it are now reviewed.

Parallel Traders
With a view to tackling problems brought by parallel traders, the Shenzhen Immigration has launched a 'light-up' checking system. Under such a system, travellers who have crossed the border more than twice a day would be examined by immigration officers upon the lighting up at every gate. Depending on the nature and quantity of goods not properly declared, charges, confiscation, and/or penalty would be imposed. According to the record of the Shenzhen Immigration, in the first 6 months of this year, 18,026.1 kg of infant formula has been illegally brought and tracked down in the Shenzhen border.
As the figures provided by the Shenzhen Immigration show, there are about 150 lighting ups a day, among which 60 are found to be parallel traders. This marks a significant decrease, compared to around 2000 'one-day frequent travellers' crossing the border a day last year. The ratio of Hong Kong parallel traders to those from Mainland is 10 to 1. It is believed that in the long run the efforts from Shenzhen, together with Hong Kong government’s criminalisation of unlicensed export of baby formula, would reduce parallel trading in general and Hong Kong’s local shortage of milk formula.
Interested in starting a discussion about this topic? Post a comment here or on our Facebook page. You can also tweet us.


How to cite this blog post (Harvard style):

Chan, B (2013) A New Shenzhen-Hong Kong Border Control Measure. Available at: (accessed [date]).