A series of joint factory observation visits are to be carried out by Hong Kong and US customs officers in a bid to combat the illegal trans-shipment of textiles and clothing products.

This is the eleventh round of joint factory visits since 1996, and will cover a three-week period beginning 4 November. Teams comprising both Hong Kong and US Customs officers will only visit those companies that have given their prior consent.

According to Andrew Wong Ching-wai, head of Trade Controls of the Customs and Excise Department with the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, said the exercise "would keep the United States up-to-date with our textiles export control arrangements. It is believed that a better understanding among the US officers of our efforts will help enhance mutual co-operation and effectiveness in combating illegal textiles trans-shipment."

Quoted in a government press release, Wong explained that during the visits, joint visit team members would not undertake any enforcement activities. If necessary, any enforcement activities would be undertaken by the Hong Kong Customs officers.