The Macao Customs Service prosecuted more smuggling cases in 2019 than in 2018. According to official data, approximately 190 million crossings were registered in 2019 across all immigration checkpoints in Macau, representing an 8.8% increase year-on-year. The customs authority seized 74,500 kilograms of smuggled food. Of this, the amount of smuggled meat increased 3.8% year-on-year, while that of vegetables decreased 16.2%. The number of prosecutions against smuggling cases increased by 12% to 4,482 cases. On February 1, customs officers found one man at the border gate carrying 18 kilograms of unquarantined bird meat. During its most recent inspections, the customs authority has not identified any violations by restaurants.
Lawmaker expresses concerns over parallel trading activities
Lawmaker Ho Ion Sang has urged the local government not to overlook the problems posed by the occurrence of parallel trading during the coronavirus epidemic. As the epidemic continues to worsen, some parallel traders have still not ceased their businesses, continuing to shop for goods near the Border Gate and transporting them to mainland China. Lawmaker Ho recommends that parallel traders apply to the Social Affairs Bureau (IAS) for financial help or to seek help from social services organizations. At the same time, Ho suggested that the local government enhance its promotional campaign at the various borders to warn people to cease parallel trading. In addition, the lawmaker hopes that the customs authority will carry out more frequent inspections in relevant areas to crack down on this type of business.
Visitors on package tours to Macau dropped last year
Visitors on package tours to Macau decreased by 8.7% year-on-year to 8.33 million last year, the Statistics and Census Service disclosed yesterday. Data released by the government department indicated that visitors from the Chinese mainland (6.44 million) and South Korea (584,000) fell 9.8% and 5.4% respectively last year, whereas those from Hong Kong (148,000) and Taiwan (710,000) grew 4% and 2% respectively. Visitors on package tours to Macau tumbled by 41.8% year-on-year to 543,000 in December 2019, with those coming from the Chinese mainland (416,000) and South Korea (38,000) declining by 44.4% and 39.1% respectively. Meanwhile, outbound residents using the services of travel agencies totaled 149,000 in December, a decrease of 10.1 % year-on-year. Residents traveling under their own arrangements (92,000) dropped 20.7% while those on package tours (57,000) rose 14.6%.