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Bird's nest taken off menu for travelers

(China Daily)

08:54, November 02, 2012

List of banned products covers food and animals

Fines are being imposed on individuals attempting to bring bird's nest, a traditional delicacy, into the country as new regulations came into force on Thursday.

The delicacy, made from the saliva of a cave swift, has been added to the list of banned products, along with fresh fruit and vegetables.

Bird's nest is a popular gift in China, particularly in the south. However, only canned varieties are allowed past customs.

According to the rules approved by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine in August, people entering the country should also declare if their luggage contains genetically modified products, endangered animals or plants.

Those who fail to declare or provide false information face fines up to 5,000 yuan ($800).

Even if the goods are declared they must be accompanied by a valid certificate or else they will be destroyed.

Passenger numbers into and out of China are rising about 10 percent annually, and this increases the risk of foreign species threatening the domestic ecological system, the e-mail said.

People carrying endangered wild animals and plants out of the country also cause huge damage, it added.

Several people were stopped on Thursday as they attempted to bring in fruit at Guangzhou East Railway Station in Tianhe district where a service from Hong Kong terminates.

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