Regulatory News

1. ICC and WIPO sign their first Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
  The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have signed the MoU at WIPO Headquarters in Geneva, formalizing the relationship between WIPO and ICC. While ICC’s relationship with WIPO has mostly been focused on intellectual property, the MoU explicitly cites other areas of ICC’s work where cooperation will be explored such as arbitration, alternative dispute resolution, trade and investment, digital economy, marketing and advertising, sustainability and climate change, unfair competition and antitrust, and supports to MSMEs.
  The Import and (General) Regulations Order 2020 (Amendment Order) to control the import and export of mercury had been approved by the Legislative Council and will take effect on 1 November 2020. For more information, please click here
3. 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
4. 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
5. 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. ICC 2022 Guidelines on Whistleblowing
  ICC 2022 Guidelines on Whistleblowing advise companies on how to develop trusted Whistleblowing Managing Systems for sound risk management and compliance, and for a culture of integrity, which is a bedrock for sustainability. For details, please click here
2. The ICC-HK regularly provides views and comments on different public policy issues
  Hong Kong in Transition. For details, please click here
3. ICC - IP Guidance in Chinese – September 2021
  In addition to the original English version and translations in Portuguese and Turkish, the ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap 2020 is now also available in Chinese. The roadmap is free to download. For details, please click here
4. ICC-ECCO Guide to International Offset Contracts - 2019
  It cited as an international benchmark of best practices by Brazil’s highest federal administrative court in the context of Brazil’s biggest-ever offset agreement. For details, please click here
5. ICC model contracts recommended by the UN – August 2021
  It features in the Legal Guide to Uniform Instruments in the Area of International Commercial Contracts prepared by UNICTRAL, The Hague Conference on Private International Law, and UNIDROIT. Please visit here for the text and here for the launch video.
6. Go-GBA Website by HKTDC – June 2021
  Hong Kong Trade Development Council has launched a new website “GoGBA”, a one-stop portal for information on the Greater Bay Area. For details, please click here
7. 2021 Hong Kong ICT Awards: Smart Living Award – July 2021
  Organized by Hong Kong Information Technology Federation, application for the Award is now open till 16 July 2021 noon time. For details, please click here
8. TrainForTrade E-Learning Course – May to July 2021
  The e-learning course on Digital Identity for Trade and Development from 30 May to 2 July 2021, organized by UNCTAD, in cooperation with eTrade for all, UNESCAP and UNCITRAL, is open to all relevant stakeholders from the ASEAN region. For details, please click here
9. Virtual Workshop on Dispute Resolution in the Digital Economy – March 2021
  The virtual workshop, organized by UNCITRAL, Ministry of Justice of Japan and the Japan International Dispute Resolution Centre, will take place on 30-31 March 2021. For details, please click here
10. The ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap – November 2020
  The 2020 edition of ICC Intellectual Property Roadmap: Current and emerging issues for business and policymakers is now available. For details, please click here
11. Hong Kong and Macau Lawyers allowed to practice in Nine Cities on Chinese Mainland - October 2020
  China has started a pilot program to enable law practitioners from Hong Kong and Macau to practice law in nine cities of Guangdong province. For details, please click here
12. The Singapore Convention on Mediation - September 2020
  The Singapore Convention on Mediation entered into force from 12 September 2020. Information about the Convention, the text of the Convention and the video on the celebratory online event can be found here
13. European Commission Brexit Readiness Campaign – September 2020
  The European Commission DG Taxation and Customs has developed some useful materials to help companies preparing for the changes.
For details, please click here for ‘Guide for Business’ and here for ‘Checklist for Traders’.
14. ICC Digital Standards Initiative (DSI) goes live – September 2020
  A press release regarding the operationalisation of the DSI and appointment of Mr Oswald Kuyler as the DSI’S Managing Director can be found here
15. Payables Finance Q&A – August 2020
  The Global Supply Chain Finance Forum released a report on “Ensuring Payables Finance remains a Force for Good”. For the full report, please click here
16. ICC Global Survey on Trade Finance – July 2020
  The survey revealed that banks are optimistic about the evolving nature of trade finance, despite challenges and disruption as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For details, please click here
17. 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
18. 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
19. 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
20. 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
21. 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
22. 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.
23. 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.

24. 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
25. The ICC Academy – Ethical Marketing & Advertising Program (Free e-course)
  For details, please click here
26. ICC Sponsorship Opportunities
  For details, please visit here
27. UN General Assembly grants Observer Status to International Chamber of Commerce in historic decision
  For details, please click here
Public Policy Advocacy & Support
1. PCPD’S Guidance on the Ethical Development and Use of AI – August 2021
  For PCPD’s new publication on “Guidance on the Ethical Development and Use of AI’, please click here
2. 14th 5-Year Plan - May 2021
  A useful reference in regards the opportunities for Hong Kong flowing from the plan. For details, please click here
3. Development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) – March 2021
  For details on update on Hong Kong’s participation in the GBA, please click here
4. SME Financing Guarantee Scheme
  The Government has introduced the SME Financing Guarantee Scheme to assist SMEs which are impacted by COVID-19 epidemic. For details, please click here
5. eBRAM’s COVID-19 Online Dispute Resolution (“ODR”) Scheme – November 2020
  With the support from the Department of Justice of the HKSAR, eBRAM provides ODR services to the general public and businesses. The Scheme covers disputes with a claim amount capped at HK$500,000 for an individual case where eligible parties will only be required to pay a registration fee of $200. It aims to achieve resolution of the dispute within 6 weeks. For details, please visit here
6. Air Travel Bubble Arrangement (“ATB”) - November 2020
  The Hong Kong-Singapore ATB will be the first step in resumption of cross-border travel with built-in health protection measures amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. For details, please visit here
7. 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
8. 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
9. 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.
10. 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
11. 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
12. 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
13. 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
14. 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
Professional Qualifications in International Trade Finance
  The London Institute of Banking & Finance offers the following choices of international trade and transaction banking qualifications:
  - Certificate in International Trade and Finance (CITF)
- Certificate for Documentary Credit Specialists (CDCS)
- Certificate for Specialists in Demand Guarantees (CSDG)
- Certificate in Trade Finance Compliance (CTFC)
- Certificate in Supply Chain Finance (CSCF)
- Certificate in Principles of Payments (CertPAY)
- Diploma for Qualified Trade Finance Specialists (QTFS)

For details, please visit or click here
The ICC-HK regularly provides views and comments on different public policy issues.
  Updating on Major Endeavours
For details, please click here
  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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