Many Hong Kong people love to shop at Taobao.com, the online shopping mall that offers a wide variety of goods at bargain prices.
Having the items shipped to Hong Kong could be quite expensive, so most buyers opt for the cheaper international forwarding services provided by various courier and logistics firms.
Taobao’s international forwarding service works this way: Instead of delivering goods one by one, the courier gathers all the orders in the warehouse, and then delivers them in one batch, thus saving a lot in shipment costs.
However, Shenzhen customs authorities have suddenly tightened its policies on courier trucks since the middle of the month, according to an Oriental Daily report. Some of those trucks were stuck at Huanggang Port and Shenzhen Bay Port for more than seven days.
Normally, it would only take two days for the goods to be delivered to Hong Kong. But now many online shoppers say they have not received their orders after nearly two weeks.
Before, it just takes a simple customs declaration for courier trucks to pass through Shenzhen’s ports and enter Hong Kong territory.
But Shenzhen authorities have tightened customs regulations after counterfeit money and prohibited items were reportedly found in some of the Hong Kong deliveries.
Because of the new restrictions, many courier firms have suspended their delivery services to Hong Kong, and said the situation is not expected to improve even after the Oct. 1 national holiday.
The Guangzhou customs authority will also tighten its policy starting next month. Couriers have to report the items and quantities in detail before they can transport them to Hong Kong.
Some Taobao buyers have used online forums to voice their frustration. A young couple said they have ordered all the wedding decorations and accessories for their big day from the mainland, but all the goods are still stuck at Shenzhen Port. They just don’t know what to do as their wedding day gets closer.
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