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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)

Freight Forwarding Agency 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
Reserved Restrictive Measures under Commercial Presence (Negative List)
Sector
11. Transport Services
Sub-sector H. Services auxiliary to all modes of transport
c. Freight transport agency services (CPC748)
Obligations concerned National Treatment
Reserved Restrictive
Measures
Commercial Presence 
Maritime freight transport agency services provided by Hong Kong service suppliers are restricted to:
  1. The business of the wholly-owned shipping companies being set up is restricted to:
    1) Set up wholly-owned shipping companies to provide regular business services only for vessels that they own or operate, such as shipping undertaking, issuance of bills of lading, settlement of freight rates, signing of service contracts, etc.
    2) Set up wholly-owned shipping companies to provide shipping agency services only for vessels owned or operated by their parent company, including customs declaration and inspection, and use of common commercial bills of lading or multimodal transport documents for conducting multimodal transport services.
    3) Set up wholly-owned shipping companies to provide regular business services only for feeders and tugs that their parent company  operate between Hong Kong and ports that are opened to foreign vessels in the Mainland, such as shipping undertaking, issuance of bills of lading, settlement of freight rates, signing of service contracts, etc.
    4) Set up wholly-owned shipping companies to provide regular business services only for the shipping transport between Hong Kong and the Mainland's opened-up ports operated by the concerned Hong Kong service suppliers using chartered Mainland vessels, such as shipping undertaking, issuance of bills of lading, settlement of freight rates, signing of service contracts, etc.

  2. To set up wholly-owned enterprises and their branches to provide shipping agency services only to the concerned vessel operators, for routes between the Mainland and Hong Kong/Macao. Provision of third party international shipping agency services is only restricted to equity joint venture or contractual joint venture, of which the percentage of shareholding shall not exceed 51%.

  3. The registration of Hong Kong service suppliers for the establishment of foreign-invested enterprises engaging in international maritime container station, container yard services, and international cargo warehousing services is delegated to the transport authorities of above prefecture-level (only in Guangdong Province). The registration of Hong Kong service suppliers for the establishment of foreign-invested enterprises engaging in international ship management services is delegated to the transport authorities of provincial-level (only in Guangdong Province).
   
Sector
11. Transport Services
Sub-sector H. Services auxiliary to all modes of transport
d. Other (CPC749)
Obligations concerned National Treatment
Reserved Restrictive
Measures
Commercial Presence
Provision of tally services to foreign vessels is restricted to equity joint venture or contractual joint venture.
 
For clarity and avoidance of doubt, Hong Kong service suppliers having registered in Hong Kong and independently engaging in the inspection and surveying business for over 3 years can be treated as the qualification of making the application to set up Import and Export Commodities Inspection and Surveying Organisations in the Mainland.