Passengers flying from the Philippines to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport are now subject to hand luggage checks as a precautionary measure against African swine fever (ASF), Taiwan’s Central Emergency Operation Center for ASF has announced.
The new measure took effect at midnight on Sunday, August 18, the center announced, adding that it had received “reliable information” pertaining to recent outbreaks of ASF in Bulacan and Rizal provinces in the Philippines.
Taiwan’s other airports already check all international passengers’ hand luggage upon their arrivals. At Taoyuan, the country’s largest airport, regulations stipulate only that passengers from countries and areas where there are ASF outbreaks and with high risk of such outbreaks must present their hand luggage for inspection. Prior to the addition of the Philippines, this involved travelers from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, North Korea, South Korea and Russia.
Visitors from ASF-affected and high-risk countries and areas that attempt to bring pork products into Taiwan are subject to a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,490) if they are first-time offenders, while repeat offenders face a fine of NT$1m (US$31,880). Travelers bringing pork products into Taiwan from non-ASF affected countries risk a fine of NT$30,000 (US$956).
Since the first ASF outbreak in China was reported in August 2018, Taiwan has intensified border inspections of meat products.