Regulatory Review

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  • Simplifying / enhancing licensing requirements

    • The requirement for submitting dividend accounts in bankruptcy cases from outside trustees has been dispensed with to shorten the processing time and save the trades’ costs of preparing the compliance documents. 

    • A set of fire safety requirements has been formulated for open-ground bazaars with cooked food stalls which allows operators to have the option of cooking using liquefied petroleum gas with naked flame on top of electricity to provide the trade with more choices on cooking fuels. 

    • The need for franchised bus companies to apply excess width permits for franchised buses of certain size has been obviated so as to reduce the cost and administrative burden of making the applications for the permits by the trade.

    • The regulatory requirements governing cinemas have been relaxed in view of the technological development and business trend of the cinema industry to provide greater flexibility and more options for cinemas in architectural design and site selection. This will facilitate the development of the industry.   

    • The Companies Ordinance has been amended to improve the clarity and operation of the Ordinance as well as further facilitate business in Hong Kong, for example, by expanding the scope of financial reporting exemption to cover more companies, providing alternative means of disclosure of the names of directors of subsidiary companies, and streamlining the technical accounting and reporting provisions in respect of financial reporting. 

    • The reserve licensee scheme of liquor licences has been introduced to help minimize disruption to liquor selling business due to the sudden departure of a liquor licensee. 

  • Provisional licences

    The provisional licence system has been introduced for restaurants and cinemas to allow earlier commencement of business upon meeting all basic requirements as certified by registered professionals in the private sector.

  • Third party certification

    • Third party certification is adopted in certifying building and structural safety for premises-based licences. 

    • External agents are authorised to assess the standards of authorised examiners (AEs) (who are responsible for conducting training/ examination for pilots) on behalf of Civil Aviation Department inspectors to provide greater flexibility for airlines to arrange the assessment for their AEs and shorten the time required to assess the standards of AEs. 

    • A certification scheme by Registered Professional Engineer for application of change in services involving healthcare engineering systems in private hospital is in place as an option to provide greater flexibility for the trade in compliance inspection and shorten the processing time of application. 

    • The Government will continue to explore more use of third party certification, aiming to shorten queuing time for compliance inspections and reducing the processing time of licence applications without sacrificing public safety. 

  • Multi-year licences

    • The validity period of the taxi and Public Light Bus driver identity plates has been extended from one year to ten years, which has reduced the administrative burden of the trades as well as the cost of renewal. 

    • The validity period of ferry licences which is newly granted or extended from a maximum of three years has been extended to a maximum of five years. Apart from relieving the administrative burden of the ferry operators from having to extend their licences frequently, this measure also facilitates them to make longer-term investments, staff training and business planning within the longer licence periods, which is beneficial to the development of the ferry trade.  

    • The validity period of dumping licences has been extended from one year to three years to save the time and administrative burden of the operators in renewing their licences, facilitate the operator’s long-term business planning, and reduce the internal administrative work of Government.

    • The validity period of Arms Dealers' Licence, Licence for Possession (for shooting club) and Licence for Possession (for corporation providing armed security guarding services) has been extended from one year to two years to provide a higher degree of stability to the trade in operating their business with an extension of the renewal cycle. 

    • The maximum validity period of a liquor licence has been extended from one year to two years for greater certainty of business continuity to facilitate business planning. 

  • Impact assessment of new regulatory proposals

    • Business impact assessment (BIA) studies on regulatory proposals are conducted to facilitate understanding of the potential impact of their proposed regulation on the business sector and devising mitigation measures to minimise the effect of their regulation on business.  

    • A business impact assessment framework has been developed to provide a general guide for bureaux/departments to conduct BIA studies. Please click here for more details. 

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Last revision date: April 2022

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