Special Travel Circumstances in Hong Kong

Hong Kong SAR customs authorities enforce strict regulations concerning controlled items you might be carrying while transiting Hong Kong (temporary importation or exportation) such as firearms and ammunition, counterfeit goods or illegally produced copies of copyright items, ivory, narcotics, medications, television decoders requiring a subscription, animals and plants, meat and poultry, textiles, and sensitive high technology or military products. If you bring such goods into Hong Kong without a license, you may be prosecuted, and the goods may be seized. The penalty for trafficking in dangerous drugs can be life imprisonment and a heavy fine. Among the other items that you must declare to customs officials are liquors, tobacco, cigarettes and cigars, methyl alcohol, and merchandise imported for commercial purposes. There are no currency restrictions for travelers.

You will be subject to prosecution and possible detention if you are caught carrying any firearm or ammunition in or out of Hong Kong. Unless otherwise exempted by laws, possession of an "imitation firearm" is also an offense. "Arms" means any firearm, air rifle/air gun/air pistol from which any shot, bullet or missile can be discharged with a muzzle energy greater than two joules; electric stunning device, gun/pistol or other propelling/releasing instrument from or by which a projectile containing any gas or chemical could be discharged; and weapons for the discharge of any noxious liquid/gas/powder, and harpoon or spear gun. Paintball guns are included in this category.

You will be liable to prosecution if you carry in or out of Hong Kong any "weapon," which includes Chinese-style throwing dart, gravity knife, gravity-operated steel baton, knuckleduster, Chinese-style fighting iron, spring-loaded steel baton, any knife with a blade that can be exposed by a spring or other mechanical/electric device, and any bladed/pointed weapon. The fact that such items are openly sold in mainland China does not mean that they may be brought into Hong Kong.

Please visit the website of the Hong Kong Department of Customs and Excise for specific information regarding Hong Kong customs requirements.

U.S. Customs officials encourage the use of an ATA (Admission Temporaire/Temporary Admission) Carnet for the temporary admission of professional equipment, commercial samples, and/or goods for exhibitions and fair purposes. For additional information, please visit the U.S. Council for International Business website, and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol web page on Traveling with Samples.

You may bring dogs and cats into Hong Kong only with a special permit that must be issued in advance. Dogs and cats imported from the United States may be exempted from quarantine when they have valid health and vaccination certificates and the pets have been in the United States for at least six months immediately preceding travel.

Dual Nationality: According to PRC nationality law, if you are of Chinese descent and were born in mainland China or Hong Kong, you are a PRC citizen. However, under the U.S. - PRC Consular Convention, all U.S. citizens entering Hong Kong on their U.S. passports are considered by the Hong Kong SAR authorities to be U.S. citizens for purposes of ensuring consular access and protection for the first 90 days they are in Hong Kong.

If you are a dual U.S.-Hong Kong national who is or previously was a Hong Kong resident, and you wish to ensure U.S. consular access and protection after your initial 90-day period of admission into Hong Kong, you must present your U.S. passport to the Hong Kong Immigration Department and complete an application for declaration of change of nationality. A declaration of change of nationality will ensure U.S. consular protection, but it may also result in loss of your Chinese nationality (although not necessarily your right of abode). If you fail to declare your U.S. nationality, you may jeopardize your U.S. consular protection, but you will not jeopardize your U.S. citizenship. If you are a dual U.S.-Hong Kong resident of Hong Kong and you entered Hong Kong on your Hong Kong identity card but you desire U.S. consular protection, you will have to declare your U.S. nationality with the Hong Kong Immigration Department. Information on how to declare your citizenship to Hong Kong authorities may be found on the Hong Kong Immigration Department’s website.

If you are a dual national contemplating onward travel into mainland China, you should strongly consider which passport you will use to enter and exit China. In practice, the U.S. embassy and consulates general in the PRC are not able to provide you with consular protection if you do not use your U.S. passport to enter or exit China.

Typhoons: During the storm season (July through September), the Hong Kong Observatory issues typhoon warnings an average of six times a year and heavy rainstorm alerts more frequently. The Hong Kong Observatory has a good notification and monitoring system. You may find general information about natural disaster preparedness at the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Please be advised that if the Hong Kong Government announces a Typhoon Signal 8 or above or Black Rainstorm Warning, the Consulate General will close. You may find additional information on typhoon and storm preparedness on the Hurricane Preparedness and Natural Disasters pages of the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website.

Disclaimer

You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.

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