As the Dragon Boat Festival draws near, more domestic internet e-commerce sites are selling rice dumplings from other countries illegally, dramatically raising the risk of importing African swine fever and other serious animal infectious illnesses. In order to prevent African swine fever, the authorities will perform a special examination of international mail packages around the Dragon Boat Festival, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine notably said. If the receiver is discovered to include pork products, a punishment of NT$200,000 will be imposed; if the recipient is seized a second time, a fine of NT$1,000,000 will be imposed.
Prevention of ASF: pay attention to the online shopping of rice dumplings during the Dragon Boat Festival.Photo reproduced from 耳東陳Facebook
Pork items made up 77 of the over 300 unlawful internet sales that were
confiscated between January and April of this year, according to information from Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine. Since May, successive seizures of several rice dumplings have occurred. A punishment of up to NT$150,000 may be imposed on persons who post ads of unauthorized foreign quarantine items on internet platforms, according to the rules (網際網路內容涉及境外應施檢疫物販賣至國內或輸入時應採取措施).
The Bureau specifically warns individuals that as the majority of online shopping platforms now offer cross-border shopping capabilities, they should verify the items before purchasing them and should not advertise, sell, or buy unlawful foreign quarantine goods on these websites. They will be fined after seized.
Prevention of ASF: pay attention to the online shopping of rice dumplings during the Dragon Boat Festival.Photo provided by the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine
If it is discovered that the receiver bought foreign pork goods, the first offender will be fined NT$200,000, and if it happens again, the recipient will be immediately penalized NT$1,000,000. The maximum punishment for importing pig products in violation of the "Statute for Prevention and Control of Infectious Animal Diseases" is up to 7 years in jail and a NT$3 million fine.