Hong Kong - Country Commercial Guide
Standards for Trade-Hong Kong & Macau

Describes standards, identifies the national standards, accreditation bodies, and lists the national testing organization(s) and conformity assessment bodies.

Last published date: 2021-03-12

Overview

Hong Kong’s policy, in accordance with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade, is to adhere to international standards to the maximum extent possible. The following sixteen areas have special regulations, standards, and conformity assessment mechanisms: animals and plants (sanitary and phytosanitary), boilers and pressure vessels, building materials and construction, chemicals (pesticides), consumer goods, drugs and medical devices, electrical products, energy, environment, food, information and communications technology equipment and systems, lifts and escalators, radioactive substances and irradiating apparatus, shipping safety, toys and children’s products, and transport equipment.

More information on Hong Kong’s technical regulations can be obtained from the website of Innovation and Technical Commission.

Standards

Hong Kong and Macau do not have central standards bodies that develop and issue domestic standards. The Hong Kong Product Standards Information Bureau (PSIB), the Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS) and the Standards and Calibration Laboratory (SCL) of the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) actively participate in standards and conformity assessment related international and regional activities.

PSIB represents Hong Kong in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Sub-Committee on Standards and Conformance (SCSC); the International Organization for Standardization (ISO); and the Pacific Area Standards Congress (PASC). HKAS actively participates in the Pacific Accreditation Cooperation (PAC); Asia Pacific Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (APLAC); the International Accreditation Forum (IAF); and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC) meetings. SCL is a full member of the Asia Pacific Metrology Program (APMP) and represents Hong Kong, China, as an Associate of the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) of the Meter Convention.

In addition, the Customs and Excise Department is a Correspondent Member of the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) and a Member of the Asia Pacific Legal Metrology Forum (APLMF). The Office of the Communications Authority also attends meetings of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

NIST Notify U.S. Service

Members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are required under the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) to notify to the WTO proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures that could affect trade. Notify U.S. (www.nist.gov/notifyus) is a free, web-based e-mail registration service that captures and makes available for review and comment key information on draft regulations and conformity assessment procedures. Users receive customized e-mail alerts when new notifications are added by selected country or countries and industry sector(s) of interest and can also request full texts of regulations. This service and its associated web site are managed and operated by the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point housed within the National Institute of Standards and Technology, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Testing, Inspection and Certification

A comprehensive range of conformity assessment services including testing, calibration, certification, and inspection, are available in Hong Kong. The majority of such services are provided by the private sector. Examples of Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) include:

  • Intertek Testing Services Hong Kong Ltd.
  • Calibration & Testing Laboratory / Sun Creation Engineering Ltd.
  • The Hong Kong Standards and Testing Center Ltd.
  • CMA Industrial Development Foundation Ltd.
  • TUV Rheinland Hong Kong Ltd.
  • Bureau Veritas Hong Kong Ltd.

Conformity is demonstrated through third party accreditation. HKAS provides accreditation for laboratories, certification bodies, and inspection bodies.

The certification system in Hong Kong is administered to facilitate Hong Kong’s export to foreign markets. The system establishes the origin of goods that Hong Kong exports to meet the requirements of overseas importing authorities.

The legal basis for Hong Kong’s origin system is based on the Export (Certificates of Origin) Regulations of the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60), which provide the Director-General of the Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department (TID) with the power to run the certification system. The regulations also provide penalties for certification offences.

Certificates of Origin issued by the Government Approved Certification Organizations (GACOs) are governed by the Protection of Non-government Certificates of Origin Ordinance (Cap. 324 of the law of Hong Kong). These Certificates of Origin have the same legal status as those issued by the TID.

Accreditation for construction product certification and consumer product certification services is provided by HKAS. The accreditation criteria include HKAS 002, ISO/IEC Guide 65: 1996, the relevant HKAS supplementary criteria, Hong Kong Certification Body Accreditation Scheme (HKCAS, see below more information) Supplementary Criteria No. 2 (for construction product certification), and Hong Kong Certification Body Accreditation Scheme (HKCAS, see below) Supplementary Criteria No. 3 (for consumer product certification).

For accreditation of construction product certification, the scope of accreditation service is given in HKCAS Supplementary Criteria No. 2. Certification bodies interested in seeking accreditation for construction product certification may contact the TID for further details.

For Consumer Products, application for accreditation is open to any certification body which operates a third-party product certification system of type 1b, 2, 3, 4 or 5 as described in ISO/IEC Guide 67: 2004 for specific types of consumer products in one of the following product groups:

  • Electrical and electronic products
  • Food containers
  • Furniture
  • Telecommunications equipment
  • Textiles, garments, and footwear
  • Toys and children’s products

For Accreditation, the Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS), a government organization, provides accreditation for laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies. HKAS operates three accreditation schemes: Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (HOKLAS), Hong Kong Certification Body Accreditation Scheme (HKCAS), and Hong Kong Inspection Body Accreditation Scheme (HKIAS). HOKLAS was launched in 1985, HKCAS in 1998, and HKIAS in 1999. Participation in these schemes is voluntary. HKAS participates in a number of mutual recognition arrangements.

HKAS is advised by the Accreditation Advisory Board (AAB) on matters relating to accreditation. The Chairman and members of AAB are appointed by the Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development under the delegated authority of the Chief Executive. Working Parties and Task Forces are established under AAB to undertake specific tasks. HKAS has established a cadre of assessors and technical experts for carrying out assessments for each of the accreditation scheme.

Contact information for HKAS:

Hong Kong Accreditation Service

Quality Services Division

Innovation and Technology Commission

Address: 36/F, Immigration Tower

7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2829-4840

Fax: (852) 2824-1302

Email: hkas@itc.gov.hk

Publication of Technical Regulations

Technical regulations are proposed and passed by relevant government departments. There may or may not be public consultation before each regulation is passed. Hong Kong’s technical regulations cover the following areas: Electrical Products Safety, Air Pollution Control, Antibiotics, Boilers and Pressure Vessels, Buildings, Consumer Goods Safety, Dangerous Drugs, Electricity, Environmental Impact Assessment, Food and Drug (Composition and Labeling), Gas Safety, Merchant Shipping Safety, Noise Control, Ozone Layer Protection, Pesticides, Pharmacy and Poisons, Plant (Importation and Pest Control), Public Health (Animals and Birds), Public Health and Municipal Services, Radiation, Road Traffic, Telecommunications, Toys and Children’s Products Safety, Waste Disposal, and Water Pollution Control.

More information on Hong Kong’s technical regulations can be obtained from the website of Innovation and Technical Commission. The PSIB accepts purchase orders for originals and photocopies of standards from various standards bodies.

Contact Information:

The designated central contact for standards issues in Hong Kong is listed below:

Innovation and Technology Commission

Product Standards Information Bureau

36/F, Immigration Tower

7 Gloucester Road

Wan Chai, Hong Kong

Tel: (852) 2829-4820

Fax: (852) 2824-1302

Email: psib@itc.gov.hk