Regulatory News

1. Toys and Children’s Products Safety Ordinance (Amendment of Schedules 1 & 2) Notice 2020
  To implement the safety standards promulgated by the relevant standard institutes, the Notice will come into operation on 1 October 2020. For details, please click here
2. Inland Revenue (Profits Tax Exemption for Funds) (Amendment) Ordinance 2019
  The Amendment Ordinance, published in the Government Gazette, will take effect on 1 April 2019. For details, please click here
3. Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters (“AEOI”) in HK
  With the passage of The Inland Revenue (Amendment) (No 7) Bill 2018, reporting financial institutions will be required to collect financial account information relating to the tax residents of the additional 51 jurisdictions starting from 1 January 2020. For the list of additional jurisdictions, please click here
Business to Business
1. Updated ICC Model Force Majeure and Hardship Clauses – March 2020
  The ICC Model Force Majeure Clause has been updated in response to calls from small and medium sized companies for something more streamline. On the Hardship Clause side, it features 3 options to cater for siutations in which parties seek amendment or termination of contract. For details, please click here
2. Support the WHO in the Fight against COVID-19 – May 2020
  The World Health Organization (‘WHO”) outlines the key actions business can take to immediately and tangibly help WHO in the fight against COVID-19. For details, please visit here
3. Corporate Startup Stars Awards – Registration Deadline 7 July 2020
  You are invited to take part in the first Global Edition of the Global Corporate Start-up Stars Awards, as part of ICC’s partnership with Mind The Bridge, under the newly launched ICC Centre for Entrepreneurship. The Awards will put the spotlight on business and strategic collaboration between established companies and startups.
For details, please click here
4. Fitch Ratings Downgrades Hong Kong to 'AA' from 'AA+'
  Fitch Ratings has downgraded Hong Kong's Long-Term Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to 'AA' from 'AA+'. The Outlook is Negative. This commentary explains the key drivers. For details, please click here
5. The Digital Hand: How China’s Corporate Social Credit System Conditions Market Actors – Report by The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China
  For the full report, please click here
6. Market Practices in Supply Chain Finance: Receivables Discounting Technique
  The Global Supply Chain Finance Forum issued receivables discounting guidance to drive further clarity on terms and techniques. For details, please click here
7. Hong Kong Green Organization Certification
  The Certification, which is a year-round scheme is now open for application. For details, please click here for the poster and here for the application form.
8. Warning Note on Fake Incoterms 2020 News and Deceptive Training Offers

For details, please click here
Official training programs will be arranged by ICC-HK after Incoterms 2020 are officially launched by the second half of 2019.

9. ICC Report on Design Protection for Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs)
  The ICC report on Design Protection for Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) was published and available on the ICC website. The report can be found here
10. The ICC Academy – Ethical Marketing & Advertising Program (Free e-course)
  For details, please click here
11. ICC Sponsorship Opportunities
  For details, please visit here
12. UN General Assembly grants Observer Status to International Chamber of Commerce in historic decision
  For details, please click here
Public Policy Advocacy & Support
1. Subsidy Scheme for Encouraging Early Deployment of 5G – May 2020
  The Office of the Communications Authority has launched the captioned scheme under the second round of anti-epidemic fund. For details, please click here
2. SME Export Marketing Fund (‘EMF’)– March 2020
  Enterprises may now submit applications for the EMF through the newly launched online e-Form service. For details, please click here
3. Social Distancing – March 2020
  Please visit here for the three publicity videos on “Social Distancing, “Return to Work” and “Working Together to Fight the Virus” to help prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
4. Free Trade Agreement between Hong Kong and Australia
  The Free Trade Agreement and the Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and Australia was entered into force on 17 January 2020. More information about the Agreements can be found here
5. Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services – November 2019
  The amendment further opens up the services market, giving HK enterprises and professional sectors more preferential treatment to business opportunities in the Mainland.
For details, please click here
6. CEPA Leaflet
  Trade and Industry Department has updated the leaflet to introduce the latest liberalisation measures and implementation details of CEPA. For details, please click here
7. Free Trade Agreement and Investment Agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN
  The Agreements between Hong Kong and five ASEAN members – Laos, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam were entered into force in June 2019. For details, please click here
8. Technology Voucher Programme (TVP) by HKSAR Government
  The TVP aims to subsidize local enterprises in using technological services/solutions to improve productivity or transform business processes.
  For details of the TVP, please visit here
The ICC-HK regularly provides views and comments on different public policy issues.
  Previous Press Release
ICC-HK Calls for Independent Enquiry and Condemns Yuen Long Violence.
For details, please click here
  Read ICC-HK told Legislative Council business concern on the Amendment Bill on Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance
For details, please click here
  Power and Business
Electricity in Hong Kong is supplied and distributed by two private power companies under the government’s scheme of control. Looking ahead, the Administration has invited views from the community particularly on future fuel mix, supply and demand, competition and continuation of the scheme of control. Given the importance of electricity supply to business and to livelihood, and the impact on the economy of any policy change, ICC-HK has offered comments on the Administration’s consultation papers.
  Taxation and Business
The simple, territorial-based tax regime of Hong Kong is an attractive part of Hong Kong’s business environment. At the same time, the government has been working to sign double taxation agreements (CDTA) with overseas tax jurisdictions, although in some instances, tax information exchange agreements (TIEA) are entered into. In recent years there is overseas pressure to set up a government-to-government mechanism for automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters. All these carry business implications, and ICC-HK has continuously offered our views.
  Strengthening Hong Kong as a Leading Global International Financial Centre
Hong Kong is one of the largest financial centres in the world. Its external trade, low tax policies, the rule of law, free market principles and free flow of information are the main factors to its success. Nonetheless, Hong Kong faces new challenges arising from both evolving global macroeconomic forces and emerging local threats. To continue ICC-HK’s mission of projecting Hong Kong’s business interests, ICC-HK has deliberated the Paper on this subject by the government’s Financial Services Development Council.
  Towards Hong Kong - a Leading Global International Financial Centre
The Government’s Financial Services Development Council some time ago produced a report on “Strengthening Hong Kong as a Leading Global International Financial Centre”. While ICC-HK has offered comments on the Report, it was reported about 2 months ago that according to the research institute Z/Yen Group, Hong Kong was replaced in 2015 by Singapore to become the fourth global financial centre. It may be timely to rethink Hong Kong’s strategy in the context of the Report and ICC-HK’s views.
  Legal and Regulatory Framework for Open-ended Investment Companies in Hong Kong
The Financial Services Development Council has published a paper to consult on the proposal to introduce a new open-ended fund company structure to expand Hong Kong’s legal structure for investment fund vehicles. ICC-HK welcomes the initiative and has provided comments for further promoting the overall asset management business.
  Response to the Public Engagement Exercise on Development of Trade Single Window in Hong Kong
Trade is the lifeblood of the Hong Kong economy. To uphold Hong Kong’s competitiveness and position as a logistics hub, the Government is planning to set up a Trade Single Window as a single information technology (IT) platform for the one-stop lodging of all trade documents from the trading community to the Government to facilitate trade movement and customs clearance. The plan was announced by the Financial Secretary in his 2016-17 Budget Speech.


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