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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
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Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)

Accounting Services

Liberalisation Measures under CEPA

The Agreement on Trade in Services covers and consolidates commitments relating to liberalisation of trade in services provided in CEPA and its Supplements and also the Agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on Achieving Basic Liberalisation of Trade in Services in Guangdong.  
 
Agreement on Trade in Services
Liberalisation Measures under Cross-border Services (Positive List)
Sectors or sub-sectors
  • 1. Business services
    • A. Professional services
      • b. Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC862)
Specific commitments
  1. Hong Kong accountants who have already qualified as Chinese Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and practised in the Mainland (including partnership) are treated on par with Chinese CPAs in respect of the requirement for annual working period in the Mainland. 1
  2. To allow consultancy companies in the Mainland established by Hong Kong accountants that have satisfied the requirements of the Mainland's "Provisional Measures for the Administration of the Provision of Bookkeeping Services" to provide bookkeeping services. Hong Kong accountants providing bookkeeping services should have obtained the Mainland's accounting qualification certificate. In addition, the person in charge of the bookkeeping services should hold the relevant Mainland's professional qualification (professional title) of accountant or above. 2
  3. When Hong Kong accountants apply for a practising licence in the Mainland, the length of auditing experience that they have acquired in Hong Kong is equivalent to the length of auditing experience acquired in the Mainland. 3
  4. The validity period of the "Provisional Licence to Perform Audit-Related Services", applied for by Hong Kong accounting firms for the purpose of conducting auditing business on a temporary basis in the Mainland, is extended to five years. 4
  5. To permit the setting up of an examination centre in Hong Kong for holding the Mainland's Accounting Professional Technician Qualification Examination. 5
  6. To allow Shenzhen Municipality and Dongguan Municipality in the Guangdong Province to set up dedicated examination centres for Hong Kong residents to sit the Mainland's accounting qualification examination and handle related matters. Those who pass the examination will be issued an accounting qualification certificate by the Guangdong Province. 6
  7. To suitably simplify the documentation requirements for applications for conducting business on a temporary basis in the Mainland by Hong Kong accounting firms. 7
  8. When Hong Kong permanent residents who have obtained the Chinese Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) qualification apply to become partners of accounting firms in the Mainland, the length of auditing experience that they have acquired in Hong Kong is considered equivalent to the length of auditing experience acquired in the Mainland. 8
Reserved Restrictive Measures under Commercial Presence (Negative List)
Sector 
  • 1. Business services
Sub-sector
    • A. Professional services
      • b. Accounting, auditing and bookkeeping services (CPC862)
Obligations concerned 
National Treatment
Reserved Restrictive
Measures
Commercial Presence
Hong Kong permanent residents who have obtained the Chinese Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) qualification can be partners of partnership accounting firms in the Mainland, while the Mainland residents shall have the right of control over such accounting firms.  Details of the requirement shall follow the regulations promulgated by responsible Mainland financial ministries.  Hong Kong permanent residents who are partners of these accounting firms are required to maintain a place of residence in the Mainland and reside in the Mainland for not less than six months every year.


1 Covering the liberalisation measures provided in CEPA.
2 Covering the liberalisation measures provided in CEPA Supplement.
3 Covering the liberalisation measures provided in CEPA Supplement.
4 Covering the liberalisation measures provided in CEPA Supplement V.
5 Covering the liberalisation measures provided in CEPA Supplement V.
6 Covering the liberalisation measures provided in CEPA Supplement V.
Covering the liberalisation measures provided in CEPA Supplement IX.
8 Covering the liberalisation measures provided in Guangdong Agreement.  

For details about the cooperation in accounting under the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation (Ecotech Agreement), please refer to the Ecotech Agreement.