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Ref : TRA CR 1015/17                     (Main text updated on 24 December 2021)
  TL   320                                                              
16 April 2004

Strategic Trade Controls Circular No. 13/04

Import and Export Control on
Explosives, Arms and Ammunition


            This circular sets out the licensing requirements for the import and export of explosives, arms and ammunition. The circular dated 3 November 2000 on the same subject is hereby superceded.

The Legal Basis

2.          Under the Import and Export Ordinance, Chapter 60, Laws of Hong Kong and its subsidiary legislation i.e. Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (Cap. 60 sub. leg. G), no person shall import or export any article specified in the Schedules to the said Regulations except under and in accordance with a valid licence issued by the Director-General of Trade and Industry.

3.          Explosives, arms and ammunition normally fall under the Munitions List of Schedule 1 to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations, and are therefore subject to the import and export restrictions laid down in the Import and Export Ordinance. Schedule 2 to the Regulations extends import and export controls on certain goods in transit, including, among others, certain munitions items (see paragraph 15 below).

Licensing Procedures for Paper Applications

(A) Application Forms

4.          Licence applications for import and export of strategic commodities including explosives, arms and ammunition should be made on Import Licence (Strategic Commodities) Application Form [TID 501] (Annex A) (fillable pdf format) and Export Licence (Strategic Commodities) Application Form [TID 502] (Annex B) (fillable pdf format) respectively. These forms are free of charge and are available at the Integrated Customer Service Centre at Room 1324 on 13/F, Trade and Industry Tower. They can also be downloaded from the Strategic Commodities Control System Website ("SC Website") at Licence applications and the supporting documents as specified in paragraph 5 below should be submitted to the Integrated Customer Service Centre at Room 1324, 13/F, Trade and Industry Tower, 3 Concorde Road, Kowloon City, Hong Kong. A receipt will be issued for each licence application. Approved import and export licences are valid for six months and three months respectively. Specimen of completed import and export licence applications are at Annexes C  (pdf format) and D (pdf format) respectively.

(B) Declaration and Supporting Documents

5.          In addition to basic application particulars, the following information/documents will also be required to support a licence application covering explosives, arms and ammunition:
  1. the name and full address of the ultimate consignee and/or end-user;
  2. the specific end-use of the goods concerned and whether such end-use is civilian/military;
  3. if the shipment is supported by an export/re-export authorization issued by the supplier / originating country / place and/or import authorization issued by the importing country / place, essential details of the foreign export/re-export/import licence; and
  4. supporting documents including -
    1. technical details of the product under application;
    2. the original End-user Statement duly completed by the end-user (Annex E (fillable pdf format) for import for local consumption ; Annex F (fillable pdf format) for export or re-export  to other destinations); and
    3. a copy of an export/re-export authorization issued by the supplier/originating country/place of the goods and/or a copy of an International Import Certificate or import authorization issued by the importing/destination country/place giving explicit approval to the import/export/re-export concerned.

      If the foreign licence is written in languages other than English or Chinese, the foreign licence should be submitted together with 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.

      Under special circumstances, instead of photocopy, original of the aforementioned import/export/re-export authorization may be required to verify its authenticity. In such cases, the applicant concerned should produce one of the following documents:

      • the original of the import/export/re-export authorization concerned;
      • a certified true copy of the original import/export/re-export authorization issued by the licensing authorities of the importing/originating country/place; or
      • a copy of the import/export/re-export authorization sent to the Department directly via facsimile by the licensing authorities of the importing/originating country/place.

        If the applicant is unable to produce one of the above documents at the time the licence application is submitted, he should submit to the Department a photocopy of the foreign import/export/re-export authorization concerned together with a duly completed undertaking form (Annex G) (fillable pdf format) in which the applicant undertakes to provide one of the above documents to the Department within 30 days from the date of signing the undertakings.
Depending on the circumstances of individual case, the following documents will also be required:
  1. a copy of the valid business registration certificate of the applicant and local end-user;
  2. documents in support of the business nature and production situation of the end-user (e.g. HKF5 Form at Annex H) (fillable pdf format);
  3. if the licence applications cover arms and ammunition which are under the control of the Firearms and Ammunition Ordinance, Chapter 238, Laws of Hong Kong, the applicant should attach a full copy of his valid licence for possession or dealer's licence issued to him by the Hong Kong Police Force with its reference number stated clearly on the import/export licence application. The validity of an approved import and export licence of arms and ammunition is subject to a valid licence for possession or dealer's licence issued by the Arms Licensing Section of the Hong Kong Police Force, which is located at 12/F-13/F, Arsenal House, Police Headquarters, 1 Arsenal Street, Wanchai, Hong Kong (Tel. no. 2860 6536; Fax no. 2200 4323);
  4. for licence applications covering explosives, the applicant should attach an authorization/document issued by the Mines Division of the Civil Engineering Development Department or Special Effects Licensing Unit of Create Hong Kong approving the explosives to be used, stored and/or transported in Hong Kong. The Mines Division and the Special Effects Licensing Unit are situated at 6/F, South Tower, West Kowloon Government Offices, 11 Hoi Ting Road, Kowloon (Tel. no. 3842 7210; Fax no. 2714 0193; E-mail address: and 39/F, Revenue Tower, 5 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong (Tel. no. 2594 0465; Fax no. 3101 0929; E-mail address: respectively; and/or
  5. for applications covering arms and ammunition for export or re-export to other destinations, a copy of the licences or documents indicating that the ultimate consignee and/or end-users are authorized possessors or dealers of arms and ammunition in the final destination country / place should be attached.
The Director-General of Trade and Industry at all times reserves the right to request additional information and further documentary proof to substantiate the licence applications. Applications that are not properly completed or not accompanied by all the necessary documentation will be deferred/rejected. Blank forms for Annexes A, B, E to H can be downloaded from the SC website at

‚ÄčLicensing Procedures for Electronic Applications (E-Applications)

6.          Companies can also apply licences electronically. The E-Application for import and export licences can be made through companies' E-Accounts in the Strategic Commodities Control System Website ("SC Website") under the program of "Apply for Import Licence" or "Apply for Export Licence" provided at the E-Application menu (At > Login Your E-Account > E-Applications > Import/Export Licence Applications > Apply for Import/Export Licence). Same as paper applications, E-Applicants should download and complete all supporting documents in paragraph 5 (d) and afterwards, scan, upload and submit the duly completed forms together with the related E-Import/Export Licence Application. Alternatively, the supporting documents can be submitted to TID by person or by fax. Upon successful submission, E-Applicant should follow the instructions to print out the receipts for subsequent collection of the approved licences. In this connection, applicants are reminded that the provision of scanned or faxed copy of the End-user Statements and/or HKF5 Forms as required in paragraph 5 (d) (ii) and (v) above will only serve to facilitate TID in processing their applications more expeditiously. It is however not equivalent to the original signed copy of the End-user Statements and/or HKF5 Forms which is/are required to be submitted to TID in all circumstances. Thus, after making the E-Application, applicants should make sure that the original signed End-user Statements and HKF5 Forms are delivered to TID as soon as possible. TID will withhold approval and issuance of licences unless and until the original End-user Statement(s) and/or HKF5 Form(s) are received.

7.          To use and submit 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 the relevant sections in the SC Website at :

Issuance of Licence

8.          Licence applications are processed by the Strategic Trade Controls Branch of the Trade and Industry Department. Other government departments which have concern over the application may be consulted as and when necessary on a case-by-case basis. Regardless of whether the applications are made in paper or electronic format, only paper licences will be issued. Under normal circumstances, applications duly completed and supported by the documents required will be processed within 2.5 clear working days after the date of submission of the licence application. They are ready for collection at Room 1324, 13/F, Trade and Industry Tower.

9.          For cases with complications or if additional technical details, other documents and information and/or clarifications are necessary, longer time may be required to process the applications. Applicants may check whether their applications have been processed and are ready for collection by visiting the SC website at Applicants are advised to submit their applications well in advance of shipments. Application forms that are not properly completed or not accompanied by all the necessary documentation will be deferred/rejected.

Licence Conditions

10.          On top of the standard licence conditions, the Director-General of Trade and Industry may, depend on the circumstances of individual cases, impose special and additional conditions on approved licences. At the time of receiving the licences, companies are advised to read the designated part, "Licence Conditions", for the imposition of both the standard and special conditions.

.          For explosives, arms and ammunition, one very common special licence condition is that prior notice to and approval from the Department are required if there is any change of end-use or end-user, or if the goods are intended for further resale/transfer/disposal. Only after receipt of Trade and Industry Department's written approval should the licensee proceed with the resale/transfer/disposal of the goods. Otherwise, the licensee would have breached the above licence conditions.

12.          Moreover, as most explosives, arms and ammunition are considered to be sensitive items, the Department may impose the condition upon issuance of the export licence that the exporter must produce a landing certificate or delivery verification certificate issued by the destination country/place in respect of the goods covered by the licence to the Director-General of Trade and Industry within 12 weeks after the date of shipment.

International Import Certificate (IIC)

13.          Some overseas licensing authorities may require their traders exporting explosives, arms and ammunition to support their export permit/licence applications with import documents issued by the licensing authorities of the importing country/place. To facilitate Hong Kong traders to meet the above requirement from the overseas licensing authorities, the Hong Kong importers can apply for an "International Import Certificate (IIC)" from the Department together with their import licence applications. For details concerning the application procedures and requirements for IIC, please refer to the Strategic Trade Controls Circular No. 6/15 issued by the Department, which is available for collection at Room 1324, 13/F, Trade and Industry Tower or at the SC Website (

Articles in Transit

14.           For applications covering goods in transit through Hong Kong (see paragraph 3), in addition to the requirements set out in paragraph 5 above, applicants should:
  1. submit both the import and export licence applications together to the Department; and
  2. declare on the licence applications that the goods are in transit, state the transport mode, the name of the vessel or flight number, and the expected arrival and departure dates. For E-Applicants, tailor-made declaration for this purpose is available for selection at Part I "Preparation of Declaration Lists" of the E-Import Licence Application menu.

End-use Controls

15.          In addition to the control imposed on specific items as set out in Schedules 1 and 2 to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations, traders are reminded that end-use control are imposed under Schedules 3 and 4 to the Regulations. The Regulations impose licensing requirement on articles specified in Schedule 3 to the Regulations (Annex I) (pdf format), or any technological document containing information relating to any such article: 
  1. if the importer/exporter knows that the article or document is intended or likely to be used in any activity related to nuclear, chemical or biological weapons or missiles capable of delivering them as specified in Schedule 4 to the Regulations (Annex J (pdf format) refers); or
  2. if the importer/exporter has grounds for suspecting that the article or document may be used in any activity specified in Schedule 4.
Import and/or export licences are required if the end-use of the goods fall under (a) and/or (b) above.


16.          Section 6A of the Import and Export Ordinance stipulates that no person shall import or export any article specified in the Schedules to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations except under and in accordance with a licence issued by the Director-General of Trade and Industry. Any person who contravenes the provision commits an offence and is liable:

  1. on summary conviction to a fine of HK$500,000 and to imprisonment for two years; and
  2. on conviction on indictment to an unlimited fine and to imprisonment for seven years.

In addition to prosecution, the Department may impose administrative actions against these persons. Such administrative actions may involve but shall not necessarily be confined to, suspension of a licence, refusal to issue a licence, debarment of all licensing facilities, etc.


17.           If you have any enquiry concerning licensing requirements for explosives, arms and ammunition, please contact our Trade Controls Officer at 2398 5592. For specific technical questions or matters concerning classification of the goods, please call the general enquiry desk of the Classification Section of Strategic Trade Controls Branch at 2398 5587. Enquiry could also be sent by fax to 2396 3070 or by email to


Strategic Trade Controls Branch
Trade and Industry Department



Last Revision Date : 09 January 2023