February 6th, 2015 - Hong Kong's delegation to the WTO notified of a new automatic import licensing requirement.



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Notification to WTO Committee on Import Licensing from Hong Kong Delegation, February 6th, 2015.
Document reference: G/LIC/N/2/HKG/6

Inception date: 07 Jan 2016 | Removal date: open ended

Import licensing requirement

On February 6th, 2015, the delegation to the WTO from Hong Kong announced it was adding 'pharmaceutical products and medicines' imported for the purpose of re-export to the list of products subject to automatic import licensing. Previously, the products were under non-automatic licensing requirements.

The relevant law (HK Pharmacy and Poisons Ordinance, Cap. 138, Section 2) defines these products as:

[...]any substance or combination of substances—

  • presented as having properties for treating or preventing disease in human beings or animals; or
  • (b)that may be used in, or administered to, human beings or animals, either with a view to—
  • (i)restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions by exerting a pharmacological, immunological or metabolic action; or
  • (ii)making a medical diagnosis

To be able to acquire these automatic licences, a firm must first register under the Hong Kong Pharmaceuticals Licence Application and Movement Monitoring System (PLAMMS). Manual import licensing procedures were still in place, until the following year.

The rule came into effect retroactive from January 7th of the same year.