Complaints Arise Over Delays in FEHD Seafood Inspections for Japanese Imports

by Ella

Seafood importers are expressing frustration over prolonged waiting times for inspections conducted by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) following an increase in checks for seafood imports from Japan. This escalation in inspections followed a ban on seafood originating from ten specific regions of Japan.

An incident highlighted the issue when a batch of Japanese seafood, scheduled for inspection at the airport’s loading bay at 11 pm on Thursday (September 14), had yet to undergo examination by FEHD personnel as of 2 am the following morning.


Concerned importers, fearing their products would spoil, promptly contacted the department. Subsequently, their drivers were left waiting for inspectors to arrive after receiving a response from the FEHD.


According to a press release issued by the FEHD, previous scenarios indicated that the average inspection time for imported Japanese aquatic products should take approximately one hour. If the time for cleaning and transporting the items is factored in, the entire process should typically be completed within three to four hours.


However, importers argue that the Hong Kong government’s decision to intensify inspections did not coincide with an increase in the workforce. Consequently, the waiting times for inspections have become unreasonably long. Due to inadequate staffing, it is nearly impossible to conduct box-by-box inspections within the expected timeframe.


Importers are expressing concerns that aquatic products and other food items may spoil during these extended delays, resulting in substantial financial losses. They are urgently calling upon the department to bolster its workforce for inspections to alleviate the situation.



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