Customs officers from Hong Kong and the United States are teaming up next month in an attempt to halt the illegal transhipment of textiles and clothing.

In a joint initiative, officers from the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department and their US counterparts are planning to stage a series of visits to consenting factories beginning August 20. The scheme will enable the US officials to see for themselves the textile export control arrangements that are in place in Hong Kong, and foster new ideas for beating the problem of illegal textile transhipments. 

The programme of factory visits is scheduled to last for three weeks, and is the ninth time since 1996 that the two sides have co-operated in this way.

In a statement, Andrew Wong Ching-wai, head of trade controls, Customs and Excise Department of Hong Kong, said: "Joint visit team members will not undertake any enforcement activities during the visits. If necessary, any enforcement activities will be undertaken by the Hong Kong Customs independently and separately from the visits."

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