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Trade and Industry Department The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
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Registration and Certification Publications

Guidance Notes on Export/Import Procedures and Documentation Requirements of Outward Processing Arrangement

(A) Exportation Procedures and Documentation Requirements

When exporting goods for outward processing, the trader is required to present the following to the Customs and Excise Department boundary control points (Note 1):

  1. a duly completed Combined Form (TRA 577) in quadruplicate (specimen at Annex I)(pdf format) (For details of completing the Combined Form, please refer to the "Guidance Notes on How to Complete a Combined Form for Export and Import of Goods under OPA");
  2. two identical sets of photos showing the image of the front and back view of the product before and after outward processing. The Audit number of the Combined Form has to be clearly indicated at the back of the photo backing sheet in the prescribed format at Annex II (pdf format);
  3. OPA Registration Card with matching particulars corresponding to the registered factory on the Combined Form;
  4. a packing list of the goods being exported (specimen at Annex III )(pdf format) ; and
  5. any other documents as required by law (e.g. manifest).

2.All documents listed in paragraph 1 above will be checked by officers of the Customs and Excise Department (Customs officers) who may also select cargoes for physical examination. Provided there being no complications, all four copies of the Combined Form will be validated and perforated. The results of physical examination will also be indicated on the Original and Duplicate Copies. The Original Copy will be retained by the Customs and Excise Department while the Duplicate, Triplicate and Quadruplicate Copies will be returned immediately to the bearer on the spot.

3.Apart from the Combined Form, the accompanying photos will be stamped by Customs officers. One set of photos together with the packing list and OPA Registration Card will be returned to the bearer on the spot while the other set will be retained by Customs and Excise Department for record purpose. The perforated Triplicate and Quadruplicate Copies of the Combined Form as well as the set of photos carrying the Customs stamp are required to be produced upon subsequent re-importation of the outward processed goods into Hong Kong.

4.Manufacturers are reminded to ensure that the goods exported for outward processing are accompanied by all the required documents mentioned in paragraph 1 above. Failure to produce any of the documents or any discrepancies revealed may result in the refusal to validate the OPA Combined Form by Customs officers and other appropriate action to be taken against the parties concerned.

(B) Photo Requirement

5.Four separate photos showing the front and back images of the goods before and after outward processing should be firmly affixed on the photo backing sheet. To facilitate manufacturers with recurring orders of the same style of garments (Note 2) for outward processing, they may re-use the same set of photos which has previously been stamped by Customs officers at boundary control points for multiple outbound consignments. On each occasion, the relevant Combined Form Audit Number must be clearly indicated at the back of the photo-backing sheet. It will not be necessary to deposit another set of photos with the Customs and Excise Department if one master set of identical photos for the same style of garments has been deposited upon the first exportation of the goods concerned for outward processing.

(C) Packing List Requirement

6.A packing list clearly indicating the number of packages and the exact quantity of goods contained in each and every package/carton is required to be provided for examination by Customs officers at boundary control points.

(D) Validity of the Original Copy

7.The goods covered by each Original Copy of the Combined Form must be re-imported into Hong Kong after outward processing within 2 months from the date of exportation unless prior approval has been obtained from the Director-General of Trade and Industry to extend the validity period. Should manufacturers have genuine difficulty in re-importing the goods into Hong Kong within the requisite validity period, they may approach the Outward Processing Arrangement Services Section of Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch for assistance.

(E) Importation Procedures

8.On re-importation of the outward processed goods, the manufacturer is required to present the following documents to the Customs officer at boundary control points:

  1. the perforated Triplicate Copy and/or the Quadruplicate Copy of the Combined Form;
  2. the same set of photos which have previously been stamped by the Customs officers upon exportation and bearing the same Audit number as the relevant Combined Form;
  3. corresponding OPA Registration Card with matching particulars;
  4. a packing list of the goods being imported; and
  5. any other documents as required by law (e.g. manifest).

9.As in the case of exportation, all documents listed in paragraph 8 above will be checked by Customs officers who may also conduct selective cargo examination. Provided there being no complications, the Triplicate and/or Quadruplicate Copies of the Form will be validated. Result of the document/physical examination will also be indicated on the Triplicate and/or Quadruplicate Copies.

10.Customs officers will return the lower portion of the Triplicate and Quadruplicate Copies of the Form, together with the set of photos, packing list and OPA Registration Card, to the bearer of the Form after validation. The upper portion of the validated Triplicate and/or Quadruplicate Copies will be detached for return to the Trade and Industry Department.

11.Manufacturers are reminded that the Triplicate Copy should be used for the first re-importation while the Quadruplicate copy should be used for the second re-importation. If the whole consignment is re-imported in one single shipment, both the Triplicate and Quadruplicate copies should be presented to the Customs and Excise Department during importation.

12.Before re-importation, manufacturers must properly complete and sign in the Triplicate/Quadruplicate Cop(ies) and ensure that all necessary particulars (including date of shipment, vessel/flight/vehicle no., port of loading, and import quantity) have been filled in and that they are consistent with other import documents (e.g. manifest, etc.). Information relating to the first re-importation should be entered in both the Triplicate and Quadruplicate Copies. For the second re-importation, if any, relevant information should be entered in the Quadruplicate Copy. The total quantity imported under the Triplicate and Quadruplicate Copies should not exceed the quantity exported under the Original Copy. Failure to provide the quantity imported under the first re-importation on the Quadruplicate Copy will be regarded as an incomplete application and officers of Customs and Excise Department may refuse to accept this Copy for covering the goods being imported.

(F) Additional Import Shipments

13.The Combined Form is designed to allow up to two separate re-import shipments. Should manufacturers anticipate that the goods being exported for outward processing will likely be re-imported under more than two shipments, they are advised to prepare additional number of Combined Forms which will provide sufficient number of Triplicate and/or Quadruplicate copies for subsequent re-importations.

14.If due to unforeseen circumstances, manufacturers are required to re-import more than two separate shipments under the same Combined Form, they may approach the Outward Processing Arrangement Services Section of Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch for assistance. Depending on the circumstances of each case, the manufacturer may be allowed to re-import the balance quantity under a separate Combined Form endorsed by the Department.

(G) Enquiries

15.Enquiries can be directed to the Outward Processing Arrangement Services Section (tel. no.: 2398 5533) of Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch of the Trade and Industry Department.

(Note 1) :

  1. (a) by air - Air Cargo (Export) Division,
    Hong Kong International Airport.
  2. (b) by sea - Customs Cargo Examination Compound,
    River Trade Terminal, 201 Lung Mun Road, Tuen Mun,
    New Territories.
  3. (c) by rail - Customs Rail Cargo Office,
    KCRC Kowloon Freight Terminal,
    Hong Wan Path, Hung Hom, Kowloon.
  4. (d) by road - Man Kam To Control Point
    - Sha Tau Kok Control Point
    - Lok Ma Chau Control Point
    - Shenzhen Bay Control Point

(Note 2): Garments of the same style refer to garments of identical cut, design and shape and sharing the same functional use.

Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch
Trade and Industry Department
November 2014