Date
25 July 2017
Traders gather outside Cambridge Plaza in Sheung Shui where they repackage frozen US beef before bringing them across the border to Shenzhen. Photos: North District Parallel Imports Concern Group/Facebook, internet
Traders gather outside Cambridge Plaza in Sheung Shui where they repackage frozen US beef before bringing them across the border to Shenzhen. Photos: North District Parallel Imports Concern Group/Facebook, internet

Parallel traders turn to US beef after China cuts import tariffs

Parallel traders have turned to smuggling frozen US beef from Hong Kong into China after Beijing slashed import tariffs on consumer goods by half.

The tariff cut, which took effect on June 1, means they now make less profit on daily necessities such as infant formula, cosmetics and sanitary products.

By contrast, they can earn about HK$400 (US$51.60) for each successful trip running US frozen beef while their mainland contacts can earn up to HK$300, Apple Daily reported Friday.

Couriers can make up to four crossings a day.

Frozen US beef is banned in China, making it highly sought after, the report said.

In recent days, hundreds of parallel traders have camped out outside Cambridge Plaza in Sheung Shui district where they repackage the meat before bringing it across the border to Shenzhen.

Most of the crossings take place through Shenzhen’s Futian port. 

Dr. Vicki Fong, a lecturer in the Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education, warned about the health hazards in transporting frozen meat.

She said prolonged exposure to heat could spoil the meat which could cause food poisoning.

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