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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Brand Hong Kong - Asia world city

24-hour hotline : 23 922 922

e-mail address : enquiry@tid.gov.hk

Ref: FRCP 1000/2/5

14 December 2010


Dear Sirs,

Certificate of Origin Circular No. 6/2010

Commercial Information Circular No. 581/2010

Certificate of Preference Circular No. 3/2010

Notice to Exporters :

Series 1 (USA) No. 4/2010

Series 2 (EU) No. 4/2010

Series 3 (Countries other than USA & EU) No. 4/2010

Textiles Trader Registration Circular No. 3/2010

Hong Kong, China - New Zealand
Closer Economic Partnership Agreement ("CEP Agreement")

Certificate of Hong Kong Origin - New Zealand ("CO(NZ)")

Introduction

As stipulated in Certificate of Origin Circular No. 4/2010 issued on 22 October 2010, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Government of New Zealand have recently agreed that the Hong Kong, China - New Zealand Closer Economic Partnership Agreement ("CEP Agreement") shall enter into effect on 1 January 2011. This Circular sets out the application procedures and conditions for issuing Certificate of Hong Kong Origin - New Zealand ("CO(NZ)") covering goods of Hong Kong origin for exportation to New Zealand that are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement. Traders are advised to read the relevant provisions of the CEP Agreement and its Annexes and side instruments, as well as other relevant Certificate of Origin Circulars issued by the Trade and Industry Department ("TID") from time to time, in conjunction with this Circular. The full text and other details of the CEP Agreement are available from the webpage of  TID at : http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/ita/fta/hknzcep/index.html.

Details

Product Coverage

  1. New Zealand will apply preferential tariff treatment to goods originating in Hong Kong in accordance with the schedule for reduction of import tariff at Annex I to Chapter 3 (Trade in Goods) of the CEP Agreement. The Schedule could be downloaded from the webpage of TID at http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/ita/fta/hknzcep/files/HKNZCEP032_NZSchedule.pdf.

  1. In gist, the CEP Agreement provides for a total elimination of New Zealand's import tariffs on all originating goods of Hong Kong in six years. Goods fulfilling the relevant rules of origin as stipulated in Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) of the CEP Agreement and other relevant conditions are eligible for preferential tariff treatment.

Document Requirements for Exporting Hong Kong Goods to New Zealand

  1. As stipulated in Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) of the CEP Agreement, New Zealand may require a declaration of origin for granting preferential tariff treatment to goods originating in Hong Kong. In such cases, the importer will have to provide:

  1. a declaration of origin of the goods; or

  1. other evidence to substantiate the origin of the goods.

The declaration of origin shall be made on the commercial invoice or any other document relating to the goods.

  1. With respect to a good falling within Chapter 61 or Chapter 621 of the Harmonized System ("HS") where preferential tariff treatment is claimed under the CEP Agreement, New Zealand will require that a CO(NZ) issued by TID or one of the Government Approved Certification Organizations ("GACOs")2 for the good be obtained by the importer.

  1. Please refer to Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) of the CEP Agreement and the Certificate of Origin Circular No. 4/2010 issued on 22 October 2010 for further details about the document requirements for exporting Hong Kong goods to New Zealand under the CEP Agreement.

Requirements to Maintain Records and Verification of Origin

  1. Under the CEP Agreement, producers, exporters or importers, as appropriate, are required to maintain for a period specified in relevant domestic law all records relating to an exportation or importation which are necessary to demonstrate that a good for which a claim for tariff preference was made qualifies for preferential tariff treatment. In addition, producers and manufacturers in Hong Kong are informed by this Circular that they should maintain for a period of not less than seven years after the date of exportation all records relating to that exportation which are necessary to demonstrate to New Zealand that a good for which a claim for tariff preference was made qualifies for preferential tariff treatment.

  1. For the purposes of determining whether a good imported into New Zealand qualifies as originating in Hong Kong under the CEP Agreement, the New Zealand customs authorities may conduct a verification of eligibility for preferential tariff treatment. This may be in the forms of, among other means provided in the CEP Agreement, requesting for information from the importer; requesting for information from the exporter or producer in Hong Kong; requesting for information from the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) of Hong Kong; or, subject to the consent of the relevant exporter or producer, visiting the premises of an exporter or producer in Hong Kong arranged by and in company with C&ED officers.

  1. Failure to comply with the requirements in paragraphs 7 and 8 above may result in denial of the preferential tariff treatment, or reversal of such treatment if it has already been granted, by the New Zealand customs authorities.

Electronic Service for CO(NZ)

  1. Traders may apply for CO(NZ) with effect from 1 January 2011. All CO(NZ) applications (including fresh submissions, re-submissions and amendment requests) have to be lodged through electronic trade document submission services. Traders may register with the relevant Certificate of Origin ("CO") Service Providers appointed by the Government3 in order to use the electronic trade document submission services. Traders who are not registered with the Service Providers can also make use of the designated Service Centres provided by the Service Providers for lodging CO(NZ) applications.

Conditions for Issuing CO(NZ)

(i) Rules of Origin

  1. Hong Kong's exports to New Zealand claiming preferential tariff treatment must satisfy the relevant rules of origin under the CEP Agreement. Please refer to Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) and its Annex (Product Specific Rules Schedule) of the CEP Agreement and the Certificate of Origin Circular No. 4/2010 issued on 22 October 2010 for details.

(ii) Factory Registration ("FR") and Authorized Signatory

  1. Manufacturers and subcontractors must register with TID for FR before they are eligible to apply for CO(NZ). Please refer to TID's website 
    <http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/import_export/cert/cert_aboutco_factory.html> for details on the registration conditions and procedures. Nevertheless, manufacturers and subcontractors who have valid FR are not required to re-register for the purpose of the CO(NZ) applications.

  1. FR registrants are legally bound to observe all conditions of registration and they have to ensure all registration particulars (e.g. address, ownership, products, line of production, machinery, etc) are accurate and up-to-date. FR registrants are also required to register with TID the up-to-date Hong Kong HS codes for the goods they produce. If FR registrants fail to update their registration particulars or their CO(NZ) applications cover goods of Hong Kong HS codes that are not registered with TID, their CO(NZ) applications will be deferred or rejected. It is therefore in the interest of FR registrants to provide TID with up-to-date information by returning completed form "Application for Amendment of Registration Particulars under Factory Registration (FR)" as and when necessary. The form can be downloaded from TID's webpage 
    <http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/aboutus/form/publicform/others/allforms.html#Factory>.

  1. Traders were informed via the Certificate of Origin Circular No. 16/2003 and No. 9/2004 issued on 2 June 2003 and 28 July 2004 respectively of the revised requirements regarding authorized signatories of FR registrants on applications for, inter alia, CO. FR registrants, who make use of the electronic trade document submission services should ensure that the persons registered with the Service Providers for signing electronic applications should be identical to the authorized signatories registered with TID. The two Circulars are downloadable from TID's webpage
    <http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/aboutus/tradecircular/coc/coc_maincontent.html>.

  1. To protect the interest of the trade and as a measure to uphold the integrity of Hong Kong's origin certification system, any CO(NZ) application which is not signed by the authorized signatory of the FR registrant will be deferred or rejected. Traders should therefore make sure that their CO(NZ) applications are lodged by their authorized signatories.

Lodgement of Written Commitments

  1. As stipulated under Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) of the CEP Agreement, the manufacturer and subcontractor (if any) of a good falling within HS Chapter 61 or Chapter 62 are required to provide to TID a written commitment that all records which are necessary to demonstrate that a good for which a claim for tariff preference was made qualifies for preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement will be maintained for a period of not less than seven years after the date of exportation. The written commitment would be recorded in the CO(NZ) issued subsequently. Failure by the manufacturer and subcontractor to observe the above seven-year record keeping requirement may result in denial of the preferential tariff treatment, or reversal of such treatment if it has already been granted, by the New Zealand customs authorities.

  1. As such, FR registrants who wish to apply for CO(NZ)s covering goods falling within HS Chapter 61 and 62 are advised to observe the above seven-year record keeping requirement, and to complete and return the written commitment form attached at Annex I (pdf format) to the Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch of TID on 3/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon.

Applications for CO(NZ)

  1. When lodging a CO(NZ) application, applicants should provide all required information accurately. Moreover, applicants have to comply with the following requirements in respect of CO(NZ) applications -

  1. The exporter, manufacturer, and subcontractor (if applicable) have to make the following declaration in the CO(NZ) application:

NZ - I declare that the goods described in this application comply with the rules of origin specified for those goods in the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement between the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Government of New Zealand.

  1. Each CO(NZ) can only be used to cover one batch of goods entering into New Zealand at the same time.

  1. Each CO(NZ) can cover a maximum of 5 product items with their 8-digit Hong Kong HS codes, and all of them must be goods eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement.

  1. Under normal circumstances, traders are required to apply for CO(NZ)s before exportation of goods, and the departure date should be at least 2 clear working days after the date of application.

  1. While the data requirements for CO(NZ) applications are mostly the same as Certificate of Hong Kong Origin ("CHKO"), applicants are required to note the following data requirements specifically applicable to a CO(NZ) application -

  1. HS Code: Traders are required to provide the Hong Kong 8-digit HS codes corresponding to the goods concerned according to the "Hong Kong Imports and Exports Classification List (Harmonized System)" published by the Census and Statistics Department. The first 6 digits of the HS codes will be printed on the CO(NZ).

  1. Exporter's Name, Address and Contact Details: In addition to the exporter's name and address, the exporter's contact details (i.e. telephone number and fax number) will also be printed on the CO(NZ).

  1. Consignee's Name, Address and Contact Details: In addition to the consignee's name and address, traders are also required to provide the consignee's contact details (i.e. telephone number and fax number). All consignee information as provided will be printed on the CO(NZ).

  1. Importer's Name: Traders need to provide the importer's name (if known), which will be printed on the CO(NZ) if provided.

  1. Manufacturer's/Subcontractor's Name: The name of manufacturer (and that of the subcontractor, if any) as recorded in the FR will be printed on the CO(NZ).

  1. Rule of Origin Criterion: Traders should indicate in this field the relevant rule of origin applicable to each product item, namely "WO", "PE" and "PSR"4. For CO(NZ) applications with the rule of origin criterion being "PSR" and where the regional value content ("RVC") requirement is applicable, traders should indicate the percentage of RVC achieved.

  1. Principal process(es): Manufacturers and subcontractors should clearly state the principal manufacturing processes performed in Hong Kong in the field "Principal Process(es) Done by Manufacturer and Outworker in HK" and "Principal Process(es) Done by Subcontractor and Outworker in HK" as appropriate. Where change in tariff classification or RVC is the origin criterion of the concerned products, it should be so stated.

  1. Other details to identify the consignment: "Purchasing Order (PO) No." and "Invoice No." are required for each product item and these data will be printed on the CO(NZ)s. Traders may also indicate other necessary details to identify the consignment to which the CO(NZ) covers in the field "Description of Goods" if necessary.

  1. Special Declaration/Statement: Manufacturers should clearly state the principal manufacturing process(es) done in the Mainland (if any) that confers originating status to the goods in accordance with Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) of the CEP Agreement. For instance, for piece-knitted garments under HS Chapter 61, manufacturers should enter in the field "Process done in the Mainland: Assembling of knit-to-shape panels", if such assembling process has been done in the Mainland; for cut-and-sewn garments under HS Chapter 62, manufacturers should enter in the field "Process done in the Mainland: Cutting of fabric", if such cutting process has been done in the Mainland.

  1. Where necessary, traders can still apply for a non-preferential CHKO instead of a CO(NZ) for their exports to New Zealand. However, the non-preferential CHKO issued may not be accepted by the New Zealand customs authorities for granting preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement.

  1. Traders are advised to read the "Guidance Notes for Traders Lodging CO(NZ) Applications" carefully before applying for CO(NZ). The Note can be downloaded from TID's webpage
    <http://www.tid.gov.hk/english/aboutus/tradecircular/all_in_one/2010/files/as042010.pdf> or obtained from the Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch of TID.

Supporting Documents for CO(NZ) Applications

  1. If required by the issuing organization and/or the C&ED, the manufacturer, subcontractor (if any) and the exporter of the goods applying for a CO(NZ) should provide appropriate supporting documents and other relevant information, proving that the goods to be exported qualify as originating goods in accordance with Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin) of the CEP Agreement. This will include relevant information concerning any manufacturing processes completed in Hong Kong and the Mainland5, including the names and addresses of the parties (including subcontractors) involved.

Processing and Approval of CO(NZ) Applications

  1. Target turnaround time for processing a CO(NZ) application is 1.5 clear working days (excluding day of receipt)6 . Traders are reminded that TID no longer counts Saturday as a working day due to the implementation of "5-Day Week" from 1 July 2006. Notwithstanding this, GACOs will continue to maintain services on Saturday mornings and they will count Saturdays as working days.

  1. Approved CO(NZ)s will be printed on white A4 size paper bearing the logo of the issuing organization. For FR registrants who have duly submitted a written commitment as required in paragraphs 16 to 17 above, the specimen for the printed copy of the CO(NZ) is at Annex II (pdf format); for those who have not, the specimen is at Annex III (pdf format).

Collection of CO(NZ)

  1. Upon approval of the CO(NZ) applications, the issuing organization will send an electronic approval message to the applicants through electronic service. Exporters may print out the collection slip, apply its company chop on it, and collect the CO(NZ) from the issuing organization.

Request for Amendment

  1. If amendment is required after the issuance of a CO(NZ), traders can lodge an amendment request. The issuing organization will only consider the request for amendment provided that the CO(NZ) has not yet been used for claiming preferential tariff treatment. Such request should be lodged within 30 days from the date of issue and all copies of the CO(NZ) must be returned to the issuing organization. Issuing organizations will consider each amendment request on its own merits.

Request for Cancellation

  1. If a CO(NZ) is subsequently not used for claiming preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement, the trader concerned may lodge a request for cancellation. All copies of the CO(NZ) must be returned to the issuing organization for cancellation.

Application for Certified True Copy

  1. In the event of theft, loss or destruction of a CO(NZ), traders may apply for a certified true copy of the CO(NZ) by :

  1. explaining in writing the circumstances leading to the request; and

  1. providing supporting documents to substantiate the claim of theft, loss or destruction, and a photocopy of the CO(NZ) concerned, where available.

  1. Application for a certified true copy of CO(NZ) must be fully substantiated by documentary evidence. Issuing organizations will consider each case on its own merits and reserve the full right to approve or reject the application. Traders are reminded that if the original CO(NZ) had been used in claiming preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement, the certified true copy of the CO(NZ) will at once become invalid. Likewise, if the certified true copy had been used, the original CO(NZ) will become invalid.

Review of the Conditions of Issuing CO(NZ) and Application Procedures

  1. The application procedures and conditions of issuing CO(NZ) will be subject to review after implementation. Any changes will be announced through Certificate of Origin Circulars to be issued by TID from time to time.

Customs Clearance

  1. In the event that traders encounter problems in customs clearance of goods covered by a CO(NZ), they may seek assistance from the Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch of TID (tel. no. 3403 6432 or email address cepaco@tid.gov.hk). However, TID will not accept any liability in cases where the New Zealand customs authorities do not accept the claim for preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement.

Origin Marking and Labelling

  1. Origin marking or labelling is not mandatory for exports of Hong Kong goods to New Zealand under the CEP Agreement. However, if traders would like to apply origin marking on such goods, they should do so in accordance with the Trade Descriptions Ordinance (Cap. 362) and its subsidiary legislations, as amended from time to time.

  1. In particular, special rules in the determination of the place of origin/manufacture of watches, piece-knitted garments and textile made-up articles for export under the CEP Agreement are stipulated in the Trade Descriptions (Place of Origin) (Watches) Order, the Trade Descriptions (Place of Manufacture) (Piece-Knitted Garments) Order and the Trade Descriptions (Place of Manufacture) (Textile Made-up Articles) Order. A legislative amendment exercise concerning the above Orders has been completed. The amended Orders shall come into force on 1 January 2011.

  1. Under special circumstances which traders have doubt about origin marking and labelling concerning goods that are eligible for preferential tariff treatment under the CEP Agreement, such as goods partly originating in Hong Kong and partly originating in New Zealand (either by virtue of the manufacturing processes performed or the raw materials used), or wastes and scraps, they may contact TID for further information.

Handling of Information

  1. CO(NZ) issuing organizations will keep the data provided by traders in strict confidence. However, TID may under certain circumstances disclose such data to the C&ED or other government departments, or to third parties within or outside Hong Kong. These circumstances include the following: the disclosure is necessary to facilitate the consideration or verification of the CO(NZ) in question; the disclosure is authorized or required by the laws; or an explicit consent to the disclosure is given by the traders concerned.

Important Note

  1. It is the responsibility of traders to complete the application for CO(NZ) fully and truthfully, and provide the supporting documents as required under the issuing conditions for CO(NZ). Failure to provide accurate and complete information may affect the consideration and processing of the application, and may result in the application being deferred or rejected.

Warning

  1. The TID and GACOs work closely with the C&ED, through checks and inspections, to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Import and Export Ordinance, Cap. 60 and its subsidiary legislations as well as the Protection of Non-Government Certificates of Origin Ordinance, Cap. 324. Companies/registered businesses/individual may be liable to criminal prosecution for circumventing the conditions of CO(NZ). A company/registered business/individual which commits an offence under the above Ordinances is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of HK$500,000 and 2 years' imprisonment. Moreover, TID and GACOs may take administrative actions against the traders concerned irrespective of whether they have been prosecuted. Such administrative actions may involve, but shall not necessarily be confined to, any or all of the following: refusal to issue a CO including CO(NZ); suspension of all kinds of certification facilities; suspension/cancellation of FR of the company/registered business/individual concerned.

Enquiries

  1. For enquiries, please contact us through the following channels -

Address : CO(CEPA) Section
Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch
3/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower
700 Nathan Road, Kowloon
Telephone No. : 3403 6432
Fax No. : 2787 6048
E-mail Address : cepaco@tid.gov.hk


Yours faithfully,

 


(Paul SHEN)
for Director-General of Trade and Industry

1Chapter 61 includes articles of apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted, whereas Chapter 62 includes those articles of apparel and clothing accessories, not knitted or crocheted.

2The GACOs are the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; the Federation of Hong Kong Industries; the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce and the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong.

3Through an open tender exercise in April 2008, the Government appointed Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited ("Tradelink") to continue providing CO electronic service, and a new service provider, Brio Electronic Commerce Limited ("Brio") to provide CO electronic service, during the period from 1 January 2010 to 31 December 2016. The contact details of Brio and Tradelink can be found in the first information box at the end of this Circular.

4"WO" indicates that the good is wholly obtained or produced in the area of a Party of the CEP Agreement as provided in Article 4, Chapter 4 (Rules of Origin); "PE" indicates that the good is produced entirely in the area of one or both Parties exclusively from originating materials from one or both Parties; "PSR" indicates that the good is produced in the area of one or both Parties using non-originating materials that conform to a Change in Tariff Classification requirement, a Regional Value Content requirement (as provided for in Article 5) or other requirements as specified in the Annex to Chapter 4.

5For goods under HS Chapter 61, such information may include subcontracting orders/contracts with factories in the Mainland, linking/stitching records, production orders and workers' wages record, as well as Outward Processing Arrangement documents including export/import manifests, packing lists and dispatch and receipt record of knitted panel/finished goods. For goods under HS Chapter 62, such information may include subcontracting orders/contracts with factories in the Mainland, cutting records, production orders, workers' wage records, raw material (fabrics) purchase invoices, export documents of delivering raw material to the Mainland including export manifests and packing lists, as well as dispatch records and import documents of the cut-pieces, including import manifests and packing lists.

6If the CO(NZ) application is selected for pre-issue inspection, the processing time would be longer.