Importing and exporting rules and regulations
If one needs to export goods or services, then a onetime registration procedure must be completed in the countries of origin by their concerned government departments as required in Hong Kong.
There are no customs tariff on goods imported into the country. An excise duty is imposed by the government on only four types of goods: tobacco, hydrocarbon oil, alcoholic beverages, and methyl alcohol. This is irrespective of whether imported or locally made. Customs control is usually carried out through inspection of documentation.
An importer must complete customs clearance and declaration formalities with the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department for any goods entering Hong Kong. Charges are based on the value and nature of goods imported, except for articles exempted from declaration charges.
The government operates a certification system on the origin of the goods to be sent abroad to meet the requirements of overseas importing authorities.
The department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published compliance requirements for persons intending to export or re-export from Hong Kong any items controlled under the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), especially, items controlled for national security, missile technology, nuclear nonproliferation or chemical and biological weapons. Exporters and re-exporters of these items to Hong Kong must obtain one of the following, before shipment either:
- A copy of a valid import license from the Hong Kong import issued by the Hong Kong government, or;
- A copy of a written statement issued by the Hong Kong government stating that no import license is required.
Persons intending to re-export these items from Hong Kong must obtain before shipment either:
- A Hong Kong export license; or
- A statement from the Hong Kong government that such a license is not required.
Exporters should be aware that their foreign customers may be required to obtain, import, and re-export licenses from their government. For example, as best practice, before shipment, BIS recommends U.S. exporters provide foreign customers (Hong Kong, Singapore/United Arab Emirates) with Export Control Classification Number(ECCN) of items to be exported, and requests a copy of any required licenses.
A U.S. exporter is not required to obtain a copy of a Hong Kong export license even if the exporter knows the item will be subsequently re-exported from Hong Kong. However, the Hong Kong re-exporter itself is required to obtain a Hong Kong export license or other documentation before re-exporting. The exporter and re-exporter will need to maintain copies of these documents for record-keeping for at least five years from the date of export or re-export.