Saturday, July 13, 2024

Hong Kong

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You’re subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

Hong Kong’s 2024 Safeguarding National Security Law includes additional national security offences. You could be detained without charge for up to 16 days and denied access to a lawyer for up to 48 hours. People arrested under national security laws have faced lengthy periods on remand while their cases are heard by Hong Kong courts.

The 2024 Safeguarding National Security Law and the 2020 National Security Law may be interpreted broadly. The laws could be applied to activities that occurred outside Hong Kong, including social media posts. You could break the laws without intending to, and you may be at increased risk of detention. The maximum penalty under these laws in Hong Kong is life imprisonment.

Under the new security laws, you could be deported or face possible transfer to mainland China for prosecution under mainland law. Denial of entry to Hong Kong is also possible. Hong Kong authorities have issued arrest warrants against individuals living outside Hong Kong, including in Australia. Hong Kong authorities have also offered financial rewards for information on those individuals. 

If you’re arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter. But we can’t get you out of trouble or out of jail.

The Australian Government can’t intervene in the Hong Kong judicial process.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of China, they may refuse to grant you access to Australian consular services. This will prevent the Australian Government from providing you with those services.


Possessing illegal drugs of any kind, including marijuana, can result in penalties that include heavy fines and jail time.

Officials have arrested many foreigners for trafficking drugs. 

Cannabidiol (CBD) has been listed as a dangerous drug under the control of the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance (Chapter 134, Laws of Hong Kong) (DDO) in Hong Kong. Possession and consumption carries a maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment. Trafficking and illicit manufacturing of CBD carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Importing weapons

Strict rules control the import or possession of:

  • any type of weapon
  • any item that looks like a weapon, including replicas, antiques, toys and fashion accessories

Hong Kong has prosecuted foreigners, including Australians, for possessing:

  • stunning devices such as taser guns
  • dart and spear guns
  • knuckledusters
  • slingshots
  • extendable batons
  • tear gas and pepper spray

You can import, possess or purchase such items legally, including from local Hong Kong markets. To do this, you must get a permit from local authorities in advance.

These laws apply to people in Hong Kong and those transiting Hong Kong airport.

If authorities find you carrying such items (including in your luggage), they may arrest, fine or detain you.

Importing Products

Hong Kong has strict import rules. If you don’t follow these rules, you could be fined and/or imprisoned.  

More information: 

Other laws

It’s illegal to:

  • take part in public demonstrations without Hong Kong government approval
  • take photos of military installations

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