This circular informs the trade of the application procedures for International Import Certificate, and supersedes the previous Strategic Trade Controls Circular No. 3/2008.
2. The legal basis for strategic trade control in Hong Kong is the Import and Export Ordinance, Chapter 60 of the Laws of Hong Kong ("the Ordinance") . The Ordinance requires strategic commodities to be covered by import/export licences issued by the Trade and Industry Department ("TID") before they are imported into/exported from Hong Kong. Under the Ordinance, no person shall import or export strategic commodities, i.e. any article specified in the four Schedules to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (Cap. 60 sub. leg. G) unless there is a valid licence issued by the Director-General of Trade and Industry.
3. For the purpose of controlling the exports of specific types of strategic commodities, overseas exporting licensing authorities may ask their exporters who, in turn, request Hong Kong importers to obtain an International Import Certificate ("IIC"). On the IIC, the Hong Kong importer undertakes that the goods concerned will be imported into Hong Kong and will not be diverted, transshipped or re-exported except under the authority of an export licence issued by TID. An approved IIC issued by TID is valid for six months from the date of issue.
4. Application for IIC should be made on a designated form SC040 (Rev. 2012) (at Annex A ( Fillable pdf format ). This form is free of charge and available at the Customer Service Counter of the Strategic Trade Controls Branch at Room 516B on 5/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon. It can also be downloaded from the Strategic Commodities Control System Website ("SC Website") at http://www.stc.tid.gov.hk .
5. IIC application never comes alone. It should always be lodged together with a related import licence application [ in Form TID 501 (Rev 2009) ]. Having completed both the IIC and import licence application forms, applicants should hand in the forms to the Customer Service Counter of the Strategic Trade Controls Branch. A numbered receipt will be issued for each pair of import licence and IIC applications.
6. Companies can also apply for IICs electronically. The E-Application for IIC and the related import licence can be made through companies' E-Accounts in the SC Website under the programme of "Apply for Import Licence and International Import Certificate" provided at the E-Application menu (at http://www.stc.tid.gov.hk > Login Your E-Account > E-Applications > Import Licence Applications (under (I) Licence Application) > Apply for Import Licence and International Import Certificate). Same as paper applications, IIC and import licence applications should come in a pair. E-Applicants should download and complete the IIC Application Form SC040 (Rev 2012) and then scan and upload the duly completed form together with the related E-Import Licence Application. Alternatively, the IIC Application Form can be sent to the Strategic Trade Controls Branch of TID by fax (fax no.: 2396 3070 or 3525 1526) or in person. As for all E-Applications, E-Applicant should follow the instructions to print out by themselves the numbered receipts for future collection of the approved IICs and import licences.
7. Applicants are reminded that the original signed copy of the IIC Application Form must be provided to TID in all circumstances. Thus, after making the E-Application, applicants should ensure the delivery of the original signed IIC Application Form to TID as soon as possible. TID will withhold approval and issuance of IIC unless and until the original form is received.
8. To use and make E-Applications, companies are required to complete a special registration with TID in advance. Details of the special registration and other requirements for the use of E-Applications can be found in SC Website by selecting E-Accounts for Applications > Open an E-Account (at: http://www.stc.tid.gov.hk/english/eaccount/how_open.html ).
9. Irrespective of the mode of applications, applicants of IIC should ensure that shipment information provided in the IIC Application Form tally exactly with those in the related import licence application. They should also note that an IIC will normally not be issued to cover goods intended to be further re-exported or diverted to other destination after import. Therefore, a declaration to the effect that the goods under application will be imported into Hong Kong and will not be diverted, transhipped or re-exported to any destination except under the authority of an export licence issued by the Director-General of Trade and Industry will need to be made on the IIC Application Form. Specimen of a completed IIC application form is at Annex B ( pdf format ).
10. Applicants will be notified by phone once the IIC is approved and ready for collection. They can also check the application processing status at the SC Website. A processing fee of HK$87 will be charged for the issue of an IIC. The applicant must pay the fee in cash or through Easy Pay System (EPS) at the Collection Office of the TID at Room 104, 1/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower.
11. By showing the payment receipt and the numbered receipt (i.e. the receipt of application mentioned in paragraphs 5 and 6 above), the applicant can collect the approved IIC from the Customer Service Counter of the Strategic Trade Controls Branch. Two copies will be issued to the applicant: (i) the original [i.e. foreign exporter's copy]; and (ii) the duplicate [i.e. importer's copy]. The IIC also has a triplicate which TID will send directly to the licensing authority in the exporting country (place) of the goods. Specimen of an approved IIC is at Annex C ( pdf format ).
12. IIC holders (i.e. Hong Kong importers) should keep the IIC duplicate for record purpose and send the original to the foreign exporters for the latter to apply for export licence (authorisation) from the control authorities of the exporting country (place). Once the foreign export licence (authorisation) is issued, IIC holders should request a copy of it from its foreign exporters and then forward it to TID for record. If the foreign export licence is in languages other than English or Chinese, a translated version (either in English or Chinese) prepared by a registered translation company in Hong Kong or certified correct by the relevant embassy in Hong Kong will be facilitative to the processing of the case.
13. Traders should note that IIC is not equivalent to and hence cannot be used as a substitution for strategic commodities licence. They should ensure that there is a valid licence issued by the Director-General of Trade and Industry to cover an import shipment of strategic commodities as required under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap.60).
14. Traders should ensure that all particulars provided in the IIC application and the related import licence application are true and correct. The Department works closely with the Customs and Excise Department to ensure that applications for strategic commodities licences comply with the provisions of the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap.60) and its subsidiary Regulations by means of consignment checks at either the pre-licence or post-licence stage. Breach of the provisions of the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap.60) and its subsidiary Regulations is an offence. Any person who imports or exports any article specified in the Schedules to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (Cap.60 sub. leg. G) not under and in accordance with a licence issued by TID commits an offence and is liable :
In addition to prosecution, the Department may impose administrative actions against such a person.
15. Enquiries on the content of this circular and other licensing matters can be made to the Strategic Trade Controls Branch at Room 516B, 5/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon (telephone no.: 2398 5575; email: firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Strategic Trade Controls Branch
Trade and Industry Department