Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce
Export.gov logo and link to Export.gov OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY AND ELECTRONIC COMMERCE
home image
Market Research
U.S. Industry
Trade Events
Export Assistance
Trade Policy
Industry Specialists
Quick Reference

Country/Regional Research

Industry/Sector Research

ExportIT Reports & Market Briefs

Customized Market Research

Publications & Newsletters


Research by Country/Region January 17, 2018  
CUSTOMS, TAXES and DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS for IT PRODUCTS and SERVICES IMPORTS in Hong Kong

Printer-Friendly Version


A. Is this country a member of the Information Technology Agreement?

B. Customs documentation requirements for IT products

C. Software: duties and taxes, updates, licenses, electronically delivered

D. IT services: tax treatment and other regulations

E. Refurbished, used, or repaired computer equipment imports


A. IS THIS COUNTRY A MEMBER OF THE INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AGREEMENT?
YES
Signatories to the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) have eliminated their import duties on a wide range of information technology products, including software and computer hardware. For more information on the ITA, and exact tariff elimination schedules of signatories, click here.
Back to top

B. CUSTOMS DOCUMENTATION REQUIREMENTS FOR IT PRODUCTS

What are the documentation requirements for the physical import of software? For other information technology products?
Under Chapter 60 of Hong Kong’s import and export regulations, every person who imports and exports any article other than an exempted article (for details on exempted articles, please refer to www.info.gov.hk/trade/annex.htm ) is required to lodge with the commissioner of customs & excise an accurate and complete import/export declaration within 14 days after the importation/exportation of the article. Import declaration form 1 (form number: ced 50) must be filled out for the import of software and other IT products.
Back to top

C. SOFTWARE: DUTIES and TAXES, UPDATES, LICENSES, ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED

DUTIES AND TAXES ON SOFTWARE IMPORTS

Are duties assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
Hong Kong is a free port with no import tariffs (duties) on goods entering Hong Kong.
    Are taxes assessed on the intellectual property of the software or on the medium on which is it presented?
    There are domestic consumption taxes (referred to as duties in Hong Kong) on certain goods, such as tobacco (including cigarettes), alcoholic beverages, methyl alcohol, motor vehicles and some fuels. These taxes are levied equally on local manufactures and imports. Software is not included in the list of products.

    In other words, neither duties nor taxes are levied on software imports (either on the intellectual property of the software or the medium on which it is presented).

    Is customized software treated differently than packaged software?
    Customized software receives the same treatment as packaged software.
    Back to top

    IMPORTS OF SOFTWARE UPDATES

    What are the customs duties and tax implications for software sold with updates when the full sales price, including cost of updates, is shown on the original commercial invoice? Are duties and taxes paid on that amount? What happens when the updates are sent at a later date? Are duties/taxes applied again? If so, based on what value? How should information presented on the commercial invoice for the original and subsequent shipments to avoid paying duties/taxes more than once on a single sale?
    No import duties or taxes are applicable (see above question).
    Back to top

    SOFTWARE LICENSES: CUSTOMS CLASSIFICATION, IMPORT DUTIES, TAXES, OTHER

    Are software licenses classified in Harmonized System 4907?
    Software licenses are classified in harmonized code 4907.

    Are import duties/taxes applied? If so, on what cost/price base are they levied?
    No import duties are applicable.

    Are withholding or other additional taxes applied on software licenses? If yes, how?
    No.

    If a U.S. license agreement is included in the packaging or is part of the installation/registration of shrink-wrapped software imported from the United States, would that agreement be binding on consumers in your market? If so, would U.S. or local laws pertain?
    The license agreement would be binding on consumers in Hong Kong. Hong Kong's "Unconscionable Contracts Ordinance," however, empowers courts to give relief in certain contracts found to be unconscionable. In case of a dispute, Hong Kong Laws will pertain.
    Back to top

    SOFTWARE DELIVERED OVER THE INTERNET/ELECTRONICALLY DELIVERED SOFTWARE

    Are taxes applied to software delivered to the end-user over the Internet? If so, on what value?
    There are no transactional taxes in Hong Kong. Thus, no VAT, General Sales Tax (GST), or Wholesale Sales Tax are applicable.

    Would the situation be different if this software were instead delivered to a distributor who has a license to produce (replicate) and sell the software?
    See above answer.

    What are the documentation requirements for the electronically delivered import of digitized products (i.e. software, movie downloads) over the Internet or other networks?
    The import/export declaration requirement, according to customs, only applies to tangible goods. There has been no legislation governing the importation of software deliver via electronic means.

    Must an electronically delivered software import be accompanied by a physical shipment of the same product?
    No.
    Back to top

    D. IT SERVICES: TAX TREATMENT AND OTHER REGULATIONS

    Are services (i.e. training, set-up, etc) relating to the sale of software taxed? If so, at what rate and based on what value?
    No sales taxes are applicable to the provision of services relating to the sale of software.

    Are U.S. IT solution providers permitted to send personnel into the country to set up hardware/software-related systems?
    U.S. I.T. solution providers are allowed to send personnel to Hong Kong to set up hardware/software related systems.

    Are special visa, work permits, and/or professional certification by an accredited body required?
    If the period of stay is less than 3 months, no visa is required. No professional certification is required.
    Back to top

    E. REFURBISHED, USED, OR REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT IMPORTS

    1. REFURBISHED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
    Is the import of refurbished computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
    There are no restrictions on importing refurbished computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges).

    If so, what are the documentation requirements?
    Importers need to file Import declaration form 1 (form number: ced 50).

    Is special labeling required?
    No special labeling is required.

    What value should be shown on the invoice?
    Invoices should show the transactional value.

    How are duties and taxes assessed?
    There are no duties and taxes applicable.
    Back to top

    2. USED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
    Is the import of used computer hardware, parts, and accessories (including toner cartridges) permitted?
    There are no restrictions on importing used computer hardware, parts, and accessories.

    If so, what are the documentation requirements?
    Importers need to file Import declaration form 1 (form number: ced 50).

    Is special labeling required?
    No special labeling is required.

    What value should be shown on the invoice?
    Importers should report the market value of the products.

    How are duties and taxes assessed?
    There are no duties and taxes applicable.
    Back to top

    3. REPAIRED COMPUTER EQUIPMENT
    Are duties and taxes assessed on the re-import of repaired computer equipment?
    No duties and taxes are applicable.

    How should the commercial invoice appear?
    Importers should report the market value of the products.
    Back to top

    RESPONSE INFORMATION

    This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service in Hong Kong in January 2003. For further clarification please contact:
    Fanny Chau
    Commercial Specialist
    American Consulate General, Hong Kong
    fanny.chau@mail.doc.gov
    tel: 852-2521-3721
    fax: 852-2845-9800

    Special Notes: The above information is intended to serve only as unofficial guidance. In seeking to obtain government rulings in specific cases, it will often be necessary to refer to special laws, separate regulations and announcements, and case-by-case decisions by the government. Beyond the general guidelines shown above, legal counsel should be retained at an early stage of consummation of a major procurement contract, and before entering into any legal commitments.

    Approved by Bobby for 508 compliancy, you do not need to have this image on your web pages!! This page was last updated on 06/18/2009. This site is operated by the Office of Technology and Electronic Commerce (OTEC) division of the International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    Contact OTEC | About OTEC | OTEC Site Map |Privacy Policy | Endorsement Policy
    U.S. Department of Commerce | International Trade Administration | USA.gov