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Ref : TRA CR 1015/9/7
30 April 2004
Strategic Trade Controls Circular No. 17/04
Commencement of the Chemical Weapons (Convention) Ordinance
This is to announce for general information that the Chemical Weapons (Convention) Ordinance will commence operation on 18 June 2004.
2. Trade and Industry Department has issued Strategic Trade Controls Circulars No. 14/03 and 17/03 in August and October 2003 respectively to inform the local industries and facilities of the enactment of the Chemical Weapons (Convention) Ordinance ("the Ordinance") and to explain its major features as well as its impact on industries and facilities.
3. To recapitulate briefly, the Chemical Weapons Convention is an international treaty that aims to prohibit the development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, possession, transfer and use of chemical weapons. The Convention came into force on 29 April 1997. The People's Republic of China is a signatory to the Convention and the Central People's Government has extended the application of the Convention to Hong Kong Special Administrative Region under Article 153 of the Basic Law. The Ordinance imposes a permit and notification requirement and specifies the circumstances under which a permit to operate a facility is required, and when reports or notifications are required to be submitted to the Director-General of Trade and Industry. Please refer to the circulars mentioned in paragraph 2 for more details.
4. The Secretary for Commerce, Industry and Technology has appointed 18 June 2004 as the date on which the Chemical Weapons (Convention) Ordinance will commence. To prepare for the implementation, Trade and Industry Department has conducted a questionnaire survey in end-2003 to collect from local facilities information relevant to the implementation of the Ordinance. Seminars were organised in November to brief the local facilities of the requirements and obligations under the Ordinance. We have been in contact with facilities which we know would be affected by the Ordinance and will continue to liaise with these parties with a view to preparing for the implementation of the Ordinance.
5. Trade and Industry Department will continue to keep industries and facilities informed regarding the permit and notification system after the commencement of the Ordinance. In the meantime, facilities which are in doubt as to whether the Ordinance would have any impact on them may wish to visit the Chemical Weapons (Convention) Ordinance Website at http://www.cwc.tid.gov.hk for details, or approach Ms Annie Loong at telephone number 2398 5670 for further information.
(Ms Angela Liu)
for Director-General of Trade and Industry