Hong Kong

Global sanctions guide

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  1. Does Hong Kong have a sanctions regime in place?

Yes.

  1. Does Hong Kong implement UN sanctions?

Yes.

  1. Does Hong Kong implement an autonomous sanctions regime?

No.

  1. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong implements legislation to give effect to various UN sanctions. UN sanctions presently in force in Hong Kong are implemented through the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Control of Provisions of Services) Ordinance (Cap. 526), the United Nations Sanctions Ordinance (Cap. 537) (which explicitly excludes sanctions against the People’s Republic of China), and the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance (Cap. 575).

  1. Does Hong Kong maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?

Yes. The Commerce, Industry and Tourism Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau maintains the following lists:

  • people subject to travel ban under the United Nations Sanctions Ordinance by country
  • people and entities subject to financial sanctions under the United Nations Sanctions Ordinance by country
  • specified items under the United Nations Sanctions (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) Regulation (Cap. 537AE)

The lists above can be found at http://www.cedb.gov.hk/citb/en/Policy_Responsibilities/united_nations_sanctions.html.

The Trade and Industry Department maintains a list of countries subject to United Nations sanctions and scope of the sanctions that relates to trade at https://www.tid.gov.hk/english/import_export/uns/uns_countrylist.html.

  1. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?

Yes. In addition to UN sanctions implemented through domestic legislation, financial institutions authorized by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority are required to each maintain a database of names and particulars of terrorist suspects and designated parties for client and transactional screening purposes. This database must consolidate lists published in the Hong Kong Government Gazette and those designated by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, pursuant to US Executive Order 13224.

  1. Does Hong Kong have a licensing or authorisation system in place?

Yes, the Secretary of Security may grant a license to authorise activities that would otherwise contravene the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China can instruct the Chief Executive of Hong Kong to cease implementation of sanctions, modify sanctions or replace sanctions.

  1. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Hong Kong?

The consequences vary depending on the relevant legislation or provision that has been breached.

Contravention of sanctions under the United Nations Sanctions Ordinance shall be punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding HKD500,000 and imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or on conviction on indictment by an unlimited fine and imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years.

Contravention of the relevant provisions under the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance shall be punishable on summary conviction by a fine of HKD100,000 and imprisonment for two years, or on conviction on indictment by an unlimited fine and imprisonment for 14 years.

  1. Who are the relevant regulators in Hong Kong and what are their contact details?

The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau has overall responsibility for implementing the United Nations Sanctions.

Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (Commerce, Industry and Tourism Branch)

23/F West Wing
Central Government Offices
2 Tim Mei Avenue
Tamar
Hong Kong

T: +852 3655 5170
E: citbenq@cedb.gov.hk


The Trade & Industry Department is responsible for trade sanctions.

Trade & Industry Department Room 908,
Trade and Industry Department Tower,
700 Nathan Road, Kowloon,
Hong Kong

T: (+852) 2392 2922
E: enquiry@tid.gov.hk


The Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Securities and Futures Commission are responsible for implementing and administering financial sanctions in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority
55th Floor, Two International Finance Centre,
8 Finance Street
Central,
Hong Kong

T: (+852) 2878 8196
E: hkma@hkma.gov.hk


Securities and Futures Commission
35/F, Cheung Kong Center,
2 Queen’s Road Central,
Hong Kong

T: (+852) 2231 1222
E: enquiry@sfc.hk

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Contributor law firm

Veronique Marquis, Eversheds Sutherland Hong Kong, 21/F, Gloucester Tower The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, Peoples Republic of China