Hong Kong is focusing on banks’ trade finance operations as part of a multi-pronged clamp down on fake trade invoicing.

The authorities are also increasing their scrutiny of customs and shipping operations between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.


Under- and over-invoicing has facilitated illicit financial flows of billions of US dollars out of mainland China, with many fake trades using Hong Kong’s banking sector.

This has prompted Hong Kong’s central bank to beef up its scrutiny of banks’ trade finance departments so that they can compare information held by financial institutions with that held by customs and shipping operations.

Closer scrutiny

Customs officials are making more random checks on shipments crossing border posts and conducting raids on warehouses to ensure the authenticity of goods, according to Reuters.

The news agency said the head of a logistics company told it that surprise customs inspections at Hong Kong’s border posts had doubled and that the authorities’ crackdown on trade-based financial crime began this year.