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 Technology Commission.
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).
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
- 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:
Address: 36/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2829-4840
Fax: (852) 2824-1302
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 Technology Commission. The PSIB accepts purchase orders for originals and photocopies of standards from various standards bodies.
Use ePing to review proposed technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.
The ePing SPS&TBT platform (https://epingalert.org/), or “ePing”, provides access to notifications made by World Trade Organization (WTO) Members under the Agreements on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), distributed by the WTO from January 16, 1995 to present. ePing is available to all stakeholders free of charge and does not require registration unless the user wishes to receive customized e-mail alerts. Use it to browse notifications on past as well as new draft and updated product regulations, food safety and animal and plant health standards and regulations, find information on trade concerns discussed in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, locate information on SPS/TBT Enquiry Points and notification authorities, and to follow and review current and past notifications concerning regulatory actions on products, packaging, labeling, food safety and animal and plant health measures in markets of interest.
Notify U.S., operated and maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 2003 to distribute and provide access to notifications (and associated draft texts) made under the WTO TBT Agreement for US stakeholders, has reached its end of life. Per obligation under the TBT Agreement, each WTO Member operates a national TBT (and an SPS) Enquiry Point. National TBT Enquiry Points are authorized to accept comments and official communications from other national TBT Enquiry Points, which are NOT part of the WTO or the WTO Secretariat. All comment submissions from U.S. stakeholders, including businesses, trade associations, U.S domiciled standards development organizations and conformity assessment bodies, consumers, or U.S. government agencies on notifications to the WTO TBT Committee should be sent directly to the USA WTO TBT Inquiry Point. Refer to the comment guidance at https://tsapps.nist.gov/notifyus/data/guidance/guidance.cfm for further information. This guidance is provided to assist U.S. stakeholders in the preparation and submission of comments in response to notifications of proposed foreign technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures.
The designated central contact for standards issues in Hong Kong is listed below:
36/F, Immigration Tower
7 Gloucester Road
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2829-4820
Fax: (852) 2824-1302