If the promotion is confirmed, Ho, 53, will be the first female head of customs and the first woman to receive a promotion to head disciplinary services.

Incumbent commissioner Hermes Tang Yi-hoi will retire on October 20 as he approaches the age of 57. The Civil Service Bureau specified that the prescribed retirement age for disciplined services officers is 55 or 57.

Ho joined the customs in 1991 as an inspector and was tasked with intelligence and investigation.

She transferred to the Security Bureau in 2003 before returning to the customs as the head of rail and ferry command. She was responsible for operations against parallel trading activities in 2014, and Ho had spearheaded operations against the illegal export of milk formula across Lo Wu in this role.

She was promoted to head of Intellectual Property Investigation Bureau in 2015 and rose to the rank of assistant commissioner the following year.

During this time, she was responsible for planning the design of control points at the express rail link station in West Kowloon, the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and Heung Yuen Wai.

Ho attained the rank of deputy commissioner in 2019 and worked to increase law enforcement effectiveness and to promote the idea of “smart customs.”

A custom official praised Ho for her abilities and passion in serving the department and society, saying that she strives to raise the service quality of customs.

The retiring Tang joined the Immigration Department in 1985 and transferred to customs two years later. He was promoted to deputy commissioner in 2016 and commissioner the next year, and was the first customs head who was not an administrative officer since 1999.

Tang's reputation took a hit when the local media revealed in July that he was fined for breaching social distancing measures when dining with other senior government figures, including Under Secretary for Security Sonny Au-Chi-kwong and Immigration Department head Au Ka-wang in March.

The commissioner did not respond to this incident in person, but he issued a statement saying that he would be more cautious when attending events in the future.

Tang will review the latest batch of customs cadets in the passing out parade to be held at the Hong Kong Customs College on October 19, which will mark the end of his 36-year-long career in the government.