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New Requirements for Exports To, Through Hong Kong Further Clarified

The DOC’s Bureau of Industry and Security has provided further information about a regulatory requirement that as of 19 April imposes new support documentation requirements on exports of specific controlled items to or through Hong Kong. Under the newly effective regulation, exporters or re-exporters must first obtain a copy of a valid Hong Kong import licence (or a written statement from the Hong Kong government that an import licence is not required, which may come in the form of a “no licence required” notification) before exporting or re-exporting to Hong Kong any item subject to the Export Administration Regulations and controlled on the Commerce Control List for national security, missile technology, nuclear non-proliferation, or chemical and biological weapons reasons. The exporter or re-exporter must have the copy in its possession and the licence must not have expired at the time of the shipment.

In addition, re-exporters in Hong Kong must first obtain a Hong Kong export licence (or a statement from the Hong Kong government that an export licence is not required) before re-exporting from Hong Kong any item subject to the EAR and controlled for NS, MT, NP column 1 or CB reasons. If a Hong Kong export licence is issued, the shipment must be in accordance with the terms and during the validity period of that licence.

BIS has recently updated a list of frequently-asked questions posted to its website to provide the following information about these requirements.

  • A statement posted by the Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department on its website constitutes written guidance from the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to importers that no import licence is required for imports of intangible technology into Hong Kong.
  • If an item is merely transiting Hong Kong on its way to another destination and there is no consignee in Hong Kong, the item is considered to be an export or re-export to that destination. Hong Kong law may require the procurement of an import or export licence for transit shipments but the U.S. requirement to get a copy of that licence prior to shipment would not apply.
  • Publicly available information found on HKTID’s website stating that no import licence is required to import an item into Hong Kong is considered a copy of a written statement under the new rule. Records of an NLR notification or “website information” (in either hardcopy or softcopy) confirming the control status of the item in Hong Kong must be retained under the recordkeeping provisions of the rule. The NLR notification or website information may be used for more than one export or re-export to Hong Kong or more than one re-export from Hong Kong provided that the records are current.
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