Recently, the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced new support documentation requirements for controlled items to or through Hong Kong exports and re-exports. This new rule is now in effect, and one of the most significant changes will require U.S. exporters to have proof of a Hong Kong import license prior to the shipment. In lieu of an import license, exporters can also obtain a statement from the Hong Kong government before shipping. These new documentary requirements will affect certain commodity controlled items which are subject to the U.S. Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to Hong Kong and/or re-exports from Hong Kong. To determine the reasons for control, shippers must know their Export Control Classification Number (ECCN).
Exports to Hong Kong
Under this new final rule, U.S. exporters with the intent to export to Hong Kong must have a copy of a Hong Kong import license prior to shipment or before shipping, obtain a Hong Kong government written statement to affirm an import license is not required. This rule change applies to any item concerning the EAR and is on the Commerce Control List (CCL) for national security (NS), missile technology (MT), nuclear nonproliferation (NP column 1), or chemical and biological weapons (CB). Please note, even export items eligible for a license exception in the EAR are not excluded from the new shipping prerequisite to have an import license or a government issued statement.
To meet the requisites of this new policy, the Hong Kong government statements in regards to items not requiring licenses are available for public viewing on the Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department’s (HKTID) website. Please refer to the link below for more information. In addition to the public notice, the Hong Kong government provides written communication to inform a license applicant the item will not need a license. BIS created new documentary procedures to keep closer tabs on export controls which apply to NS, MT, NP, or CB exports. Please use the link below to visit the Strategic Trade Controls page on the HKTID site to check the control status of the items which will require Hong Kong import licenses prior to shipment. BIS advises exporters to seek confirmation from the HKTID if an item is not found on the website to ensure it does not require an import license.
Re-exports from Hong Kong
Regarding re-exports, this final rule requires both U.S. re-export licenses and export licenses from the Hong Kong government should a re-exporter in Hong Kong intend to re-export from Hong Kong to a third country. These items must also be subject to the EAR and controlled on the CCL for NS, MT, NP column 1, or CB reasons to obtain, as necessary, not only authorizing the export of such items from Hong Kong. If an exporter receives a Hong Kong license, the re-export must fulfill the terms of that license and be concluded during its validity period.