Skip to main content  Skip to search  Skip to main menu
Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Brand Hong Kong - Asia world city

Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)

Insurance 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
7. Financial services
  1.  All insurance and insurance-related services (CPC812)
    1. Life, accident and health insurance services (CPC8121)
    2. Non-life insurance services (CPC8129)
    3. Reinsurance and retrocession (CPC81299)
    4. Services auxiliary to insurance (including broking and agency services, consultancy services, actuarial services) (CPC8140)
Specific
commitments
  1. To allow Hong Kong residents with Chinese citizenship, after obtaining the Mainland's professional qualifications in actuarial science, to practise in the Mainland without prior approval.1
  2. To allow Hong Kong residents, after obtaining the Mainland's insurance practitioners' qualifications and being employed or appointed by a Mainland insurance institution, to engage in the relevant insurance business.2
  3. To permit the setting up of an examination centre in Hong Kong for the Mainland qualifying examinations for insurance intermediaries.3
  4. To encourage Mainland insurance companies to cede their business to Hong Kong insurance or reinsurance companies with RMB as the settlement currency.4
  5. To encourage Hong Kong insurance companies to continue expanding the scale of their outward reinsurance business placements to the Mainland reinsurance companies.5
  6. To allow Guangdong insurance companies that fulfil regulatory requirements to entrust Hong Kong insurance companies to develop RMB insurance policies selling services in Hong Kong.  These insurance companies must strictly follow the requirements of relevant insurance laws, regulations and codes, and their businesses being carried on in a regulated manner with a view to enhancing mutual development of insurance markets.6
Reserved Restrictive Measures under Commercial Presence (Negative List)
Sector
7. Financial Services
Sub-sector     A. All insurance and insurance-related services (CPC812)
  1. Life, accident and health insurance services (CPC8121)
  2. Non-life insurance services (CPC8129)
  3. Reinsurance and retrocession (CPC81299)
  4. Services auxiliary to insurance (including broking and agency services, consultancy services, actuarial services) (CPC8140)
Obligations concerned National Treatment
Reserved Restrictive
Measures
Commercial Presence
  1. Hong Kong insurance companies and their groups formed through re-grouping or strategic mergers which enter the Mainland insurance market must fulfil the following criteria:
    1) Total assets held by the group of over US$5 billion; more than 30 years of establishment experience attributable to one of the Hong Kong insurance companies in the group; and a representative office established in the Mainland for over 2 years by one of the Hong Kong insurance companies in the group;
    2) The place of their domicile is having a robust insurance regulatory system; and the insurance companies are under effective supervision by the relevant authority where the insurance companies are domiciled;
    3) Having met the solvency margin standard of the place where they are domiciled;
    4) Their application has had the agreement of the relevant authority of the place where they are domiciled;
    5) Reasonable corporate governance; and stable risk management system;
    6) Healthy internal control system; and effective information management system; and
    7) Good operating condition; and having no record of significant violation of laws and regulations.
To support eligible Hong Kong insurance companies to set up branches in the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone.Those branches of the Hong Kong insurance companies entering the Pilot Free Trade Zone are treated as Mainland insurance institutions and are subject to the same or similar supervisory regulations.
  1. The maximum limit of shareholding percentage of a Hong Kong insurance company in a Mainland insurance company is 24.9%. Foreign financial institutions to invest in shares of insurance companies must fulfil the following criteria:
    1) A good and stable financial condition with continuous profit making record for the recent three consecutive accounting years;
    2) The total assets as at the end of the most recent year shall be not less than US$2 billion;
    3) Having long term credit rating of A or above given by international credit agencies in the recent three years;
    4) Having no records of significant violation of laws and regulations for the recent three years.
    5) Having fulfilled the requirements of prudential supervision standards of the financial regulators where they are domiciled.
  2. An insurance company which carries on life insurance business in the Mainland and is jointly established by foreign insurance companies and Mainland domestic companies and/or enterprises (hereinafter called “jointly-owned life insurance company”) shallhave no more than 50% of its total share capital coming from foreign source. Foreign insurance companies having shares in the jointly-owned life insurance company, directly or otherwise, whose proportion of share capital shall not exceed the limit as aforesaid.
  3. The total equity owned by Mainland domestic insurance companies in an insurance asset management company shall be not less than 75%.
  4. Hong Kong insurance agency companies setting up wholly-owned insurance agency companies in the Mainland to provide insurance agency services for the Mainland insurance companies must fulfil the following criteria:
    1) The applicant must be a Hong Kong insurance agency enterprise;
    2) Having been operating insurance agency business for over 10 years; the applicant's average annual business revenue for the past 3 years before application shall not be less than HK$500,000 and the total assets as at the end of the year before application shall not be less than HK$500,000; and
    3) Within 3 years before application, there has been no serious violation of regulations and record of disciplinary action.
Hong Kong insurance agency companies entering the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone to provide insurance agency services are subject to the same or similar entrance criteria and supervisory regulations that are applicable to Mainland insurance intermediary institutions
  1. Hong Kong insurance brokerage companies setting up wholly-owned insurance agency companies in the Mainland must fulfil the following criteria:
    1) The applicant shall have been operating insurance brokerage business in Hong Kong for over 10 years;
    2) The applicant's average annual insurance brokerage business revenue for the past 3 years before application shall not be less than HK$500,000 and the total assets as at the end of the year before application shall not be less than HK$500,000; and
    3) Within 3 years before application, there has been no serious violation of regulationsand records of disciplinary action.
Hong Kong insurance brokerage companies entering the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone to provide insurance agency services are subject to the same or similar entrance criteria and supervisory regulations that are applicable to Mainland insurance intermediary institutions.
  1. Hong Kong insurance brokerage companies setting up wholly-owned insurance brokerage companies in the Mainland must fulfil the following criteria:
    1) Total assets of over US$200 million;
    2) Operating experience of over 30 years; and
    3) A representative office established in the Mainland for over 2 years.
Hong Kong insurance brokerage companies entering the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone to provide insurance brokerage services are subject to the same or similar entrance criteria and supervisory regulations that are applicable to Mainland insurance intermediary institutions
  1. Hong Kong service suppliers are not allowed to set up insurance loss adjusting companies in the Mainland.
Hong Kong insurance loss adjusting companies entering the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone to provide insurance loss adjusting services are subject to the same or similar entrance criteria and supervisory regulations that are applicable to Mainland insurance intermediary institutions
  1. Except otherwise approved by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission, foreign insurance companies are not allowed to be involved in the following activities with their related enterprises:
    1) Inward or outward reinsurance businesses; and
    2) Purchase or sale of assets or other transactions.
Those foreign insurance companies having the approval to carry on inward or outward reinsurance businesses with their related enterprises shall submit the materials as required by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.


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

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