TAIPEI (CNA) — Another six people were fined on Jan. 1 for bringing meat products into the country at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TTIA), according to Customs authorities.
Passengers caught with pork items in their luggage were each slapped with a NT$200,000 (US$6,533) fine, while others who came in with other types of meat products received fines of NT$30,000, the officials said Jan. 1.
To prevent African swine fever (ASF) from reaching Taiwan, the government on Dec. 18 began slapping heavier fines on passengers caught bringing in pork products from countries with ASF outbreaks, with first offenders liable to be fined NT$200,000 and repeat offenders NT$1 million.
The new heavier fines, however, apply only to pork products, with other meat products subject to lesser fines. But despite the measure, Customs officials said they continue to catch travelers every day at Taoyuan airport bringing in food and snacks that contain meat.
Among the six people fined Monday, two were Taiwanese nationals who came in with meat-filled egg rolls, chicken and beef sausages, three Chinese visitors with pork and chicken muffins, and an American with pork instant noodles.
To avoid being fined, inbound passengers who are unsure whether items they are carrying are allowed into the country are advised to first seek information at the No. 7 Goods to declare/Customs service counter at the airport, officials said.
By Chiu Chun-chin and Ko Lin