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Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

Vancouver Island...
Level Contributor
894 posts
124 reviews
Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

Hi. We are currently in Singapore airport and are travelling back home to Canada, transiting through Hong Kong. We were told in the duty free store here in Singapore that our liquor would be confiscated in Hong Kong. I thought the rules had changed in the last year or so. When we were in a Vancouver airport duty free store a few months ago I was told that Hong Kong was one of the few SE Asian countries that allowed duty free alcohol when in transit. Can anyone confirm what information is accurate. We could buy our duty free in HK but I recall it is in only Hong Kong or US dollars. We have Singapore dollars leftover so would rather buy here

Thanks

54 replies to this topic
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
5,642 posts
106 reviews
1. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

No, it will not be confiscated... especially in transit. Singaporean dollars is accepted in Hong Kong Airport, but the rate is super low and the change would only be in Hong Kong Dollars

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
78 posts
135 reviews
2. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

Quite correct. I go through transit security regularly at Hong Kong and it's amazing the amount of long faces you see on passenger's who've just had their expensive duty free bottles confiscated. All you're allowed to take through security is toiletries in <100ml containers in a one quart resealable plastic bag, plus required medication and baby food (if you have a baby with you). Any other liquids go in the bins next to the x-ray machines. You are allowed to empty the bottle and take that with you. Many passengers keep their empty bottles to fill at free water fountains to avoid buying expensive bottled water on the departure level.

Despite the HK$/US$ link Hong Kong duty free is reasonably competitive in the region, and they often have 10% or 15% promotions. One thing that's not cheap is wine as there's no tax/duty on wine in Hong Kong, so it's usually cheaper to buy it in town at a wine shop.

Use your credit card for your purchase, and pay for it in HKD (not the currency of your credit card, which will add about 5% in hidden fees, rather than the 1.5% usual commission).

Edited: 3:51 am, February 07, 2016
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
5,642 posts
106 reviews
3. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

I though sealed duty free bags for liquors are allowed except going to Australia? How about the 'send to destination' service? I haven't tried that before and I also don't know if it's available at other airports

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
Level Contributor
97,563 posts
17 reviews
4. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

I think it may depend on the final destination.

Australia insists on a full security check, including the limit on liquids, on all flights into Australia. The Australian forums have quite frequent bleats from people who bought duty free when leaving Europe, and had it confiscated as they transited Hong Kong (or Singapore or Dubai, etc).

Maybe other countries have less strict requirements.

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
78 posts
135 reviews
5. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

https:/…airport-security-faq.html

See question 21. "...MAY be allowed...."

I've seen plenty of unhappy passengers losing their bottles at transit security.

There's a secondary inspection just prior to the aircraft door (on the airbridge) for flights to Australia and US, where more stuff gets confiscated, even bottled water bought in the departure area.

Moss, Norway
Level Contributor
193 posts
33 reviews
6. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

We land in terminal 1 from london and leAve through terminal 1 to cebu, do/would we have problems with dutyfree that are in sealed bags from the origin airport

Asia
Level Contributor
1,322 posts
1 review
7. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

I've seen liquor in sealed see through bags confiscated (transit). But I'm not sure if its airport or airline specific.

london
Level Contributor
8,928 posts
41 reviews
8. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

re#7 That happened to me when transitting through Dubai.

I think it is always advisable to purchase your duty free at your final point of transit

Vancouver Island...
Level Contributor
894 posts
124 reviews
9. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

OP again. We listened to two different duty free people in Singapore saying the liquor would be confiscated in Hong Kong so we didn't buy any there. We have now arrived in Hong kong airport and I asked at the security screening counter if we could bring in duty free liquor from Singapore and they said yes. This is so maddening. The duty free in Hong Kong is more expensive than it was in Singapore. Also if you read question 21 as per post 5 it would have met the requirements as it would have been sealed and we are travelling the same day. I wish the airports would get correct information for travellers. This happens way too many times to too many people.

Dublin, California
Level Contributor
23,839 posts
47 reviews
10. Re: Bringing duty free alcohol through HK in transit

Don't know about Canada but for US flights there is a secondary security check at the gate. And no you cannot bring duty free alcohol through that secondary check. So I am not so sure if the HK screeners are correct.

In any event if my 12 yr old scotch were confiscated I don't know what I'd do, maybe just sit there and cry. So yes it's safer to buy your duty free at the last transit airport.

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