COA imposes fines on pork from S Korea


By Lin Chia-nan, Taipei Times

Sep 18, 2019


With South Korea confirming an outbreak of African swine fever, the Council of Agriculture (COA) yesterday said that travelers caught bringing in pork products from that country would be fined a minimum of NT$200,000 (US$6,444).


Taiwan has been striving to keep the deadly swine disease at bay since China reported the first outbreak in August last year and the disease has continued to sweep across Asia.


The fine was put in place at 1pm yesterday after South Korean Minister of Agriculture Kim Hyun-soo said that the nationís first case of the highly contagious disease was confirmed yesterday in tests on five pigs that died on Monday evening at a farm in Paju, a town near the border with North Korea.


After North Korea reported an outbreak in late May, South Korea was included in the councilís list of countries with a higher risk of transmitting the disease, it said.


The carry-on luggage of tourists returning from high-risk countries have to undergo X-ray scans at customs, it said.


In addition to countries that have reported an outbreak of African swine fever ó China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea and Russia ó the council added Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Brunei to its high-risk list earlier this month, even though they have not reported any infection cases.


Those caught attempting to bring pork products from countries that have reported an epidemic are to be fined NT$200,000 for a first-time offense and NT$1 million for repeat offenses, the council said.


Foreign tourists who fail to pay the fine for illegal pork imports at customs would be denied entry into Taiwan, it added.


As of Sunday, the government had issued 534 tickets of NT$200,000 each for travelers found carrying banned pork products, including 298 to Chinese tourists and 170 to Taiwanese travelers...