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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 :

Ref: FRCP 1000/2/7

22 January 2019

Dear Sirs,

Certificate of Origin Circular No. 2/2019

Commercial Information Circular No. 65/2019

Certificate of Preference Circular No. 2/2019

Notice to Exporters :

Series 1 (USA) No. 2/2019

Series 2 (EU) No. 2/2019

Series 3 (Countries other than USA & EU) No. 2/2019

Textiles Trader Registration Circular No. 2/2019

Hong Kong, China - Georgia Free Trade Agreement (HKCGFTA)

Certificate of Hong Kong Origin - Georgia (CO(Georgia))

I. Introduction

Certificate of Origin Circular (CoC) No. 1/2019 informed the trade of the rules of origin (ROOs) and related requirements which Hong Kong-origin goods must meet in order to enjoy preferential tariff treatment under the Hong Kong, China - Georgia Free Trade Agreement (HKCGFTA) taking effect on 13 February 2019.

2.Among other things, for the purpose of claiming preferential tariff treatment, the importer of the goods concerned must possess a valid Certificate of Hong Kong Origin - Georgia (CO(Georgia)). This Circular sets out the application procedures and conditions for issuing CO(Georgia) to cover eligible goods. Application for CO(Georgia) will be accepted once the HKCGFTA enters into force. The format of CO(Georgia) is attached at Appendix (pdf format).

3.Traders are advised to read the relevant provisions of the HKCGFTA and its Annexes, other relevant Circulars issued by the Trade and Industry Department (TID) as well as updated information posted on TID's website from time to time, in conjunction with this Circular. The full text and other details of the HKCGFTA are available on TID's website <>. Please also refer to the "Notes for Traders Lodging CO(Georgia) Applications <> when making an application.

II. Certificate of Hong Kong Origin - Georgia

Product Coverage

4.Upon the entry into force of the HKCGFTA, Georgia will eliminate import tariffs on 96.6% of its tariff lines for Hong Kong's originating products. The excluded products are listed in Annex 2-1 (Georgia's Exclusion List) of the HKCGFTA. Traders are advised to check if their products fall under the tariff lines eligible for tariff preferences when considering whether to take out a CO(Georgia).

5.CO(Georgia) is issued to cover eligible Hong Kong-origin goods meeting the ROO and related requirements under the HKCGFTA.

Issuing Authorities

6.CO(Georgia) will be issued by TID and the Government Approved Certification Organizations (GACOs) (Note 1).

Factory Registration (FR)

7.To ensure that the factories concerned are capable of manufacturing goods which meet the ROO requirements under the HKCGFTA, manufacturers and subcontractors must register with TID for FR before they are eligible to apply for CO(Georgia). Please refer to TID's website <> for details on the registration conditions and procedures.

8.Manufacturers and subcontractors who have valid FR covering other types of COs are also required to update their FR records to include CO(Georgia) therein. They may do so by returning the completed form "Application for Amendment of Registration Particulars under Factory Registration (FR)". The form can be downloaded from TID's website <> or obtained from the Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch (FR&OC) of TID. 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. If FR registrants fail to update their registration particulars or their CO(Georgia) applications cover goods that are not registered with TID, their CO(Georgia) applications will be deferred or rejected.

9.If the goods to be covered by a CO(Georgia) are subject to ROOs involving Regional Value Content (RVC) under HKCGFTA, the manufacturers concerned must provide a Proforma Cost Statement detailing the RVC calculation for each type of goods in support of its FR application or amendment. In the circumstances where the production of goods involves any local subcontracting, the subcontractor concerned is required to declare its own part of RVC calculation to support the Proforma Cost Statement made by the manufacturer. The form can be downloaded from TID's website <> or obtained from the FR&OC Branch of TID. Please refer to Article 4 (Regional Value Content) of HKCGFTA for details regarding the RVC calculation. A Cost Statement is valid from the date of submission to the expiry date of the manufacturers' FR, if approved. A fresh Cost Statement must be submitted for TID's approval at the time of FR renewal or in case of major updates to the cost calculations contained in the Cost Statement, e.g. a decrease in the RVC of the goods to a level below the applicable RVC requirement for the goods under the HKCGFTA.

10.TID normally completes the processing of a new FR application or an FR amendment request involving product/certification types within 14 clear working days after receipt of application and all supporting documents. Traders intending to take out CO(Georgia) to cover their products should take this into account in planning their production and shipment schedule.

Electronic Service for CO(Georgia)

11.All CO(Georgia) applications (including fresh submissions, re-submissions, amendments and cancellations) must be lodged through electronic trade document submission services. Traders may register with the CO Electronic Service Providers appointed by the Government (Note 2) in order to use the electronic trade document submission services. Traders who are not ready to make electronic submissions can make use of the paper-to-electronic conversion service provided at designated service centres by the Service Providers for lodging CO(Georgia) applications.

Submission of CO(Georgia) Applications

12.All required information must be provided in CO(Georgia) applications accurately. Moreover, applicants have to comply with the following requirements in respect of CO(Georgia) applications -

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

    GE - I declare that the goods described in this application comply with the rules of origin specified for those goods in the Hong Kong, China - Georgia Free Trade Agreement.
  2. The exporter or the manufacturer is also required to make the following declaration in the CO(Georgia) application. The declaration and the name of the signatory will be printed on the issued CO(Georgia):

    U02 - For the purpose of completion of Box 13 on CO(Georgia), I declare that the information provided for this application is correct; and that all the goods were produced in Hong Kong, China and that they comply with the origin requirements specified in the Hong Kong, China - Georgia Free Trade Agreement for the goods exported to Georgia.
  3. Each CO(Georgia) can only be used to cover one batch of goods entering into Georgia at the same time.
  4. Each CO(Georgia) can cover a maximum of 5 product items with their 8-digit Hong Kong Harmonized System (HKHS) codes, and all of them must be goods eligible for preferential tariff treatment under HKCGFTA.
  5. Under normal circumstances, traders are required to apply for a CO(Georgia) before exportation of goods, and the departure date should be at least 2 clear working days after the date of application.

13.While the data requirements for CO(Georgia) applications are mostly the same as those for Certificate of Hong Kong Origin (CHKO), applicants should note the following requirements specifically applicable to CO(Georgia) applications -

  1. HS Code: Traders are required to provide the 8-digit HKHS 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 HKHS codes will be printed on the CO(Georgia).
  2. Producer's Name and Address: The manufacturer's name must be provided. The name and the address on its FR record will be printed on the CO(Georgia). If traders wish to keep the manufacturer's information confidential, they may request that such information be omitted in the CO(Georgia) and be provided upon request by the customs authorities of Georgia.
  3. Importer's Name and Address: The importer's name and address must be provided and will be printed on the CO(Georgia).
  4. Origin Criterion: Traders should indicate in the application the ROO applicable to each product item.
  5. Invoice issued by Non-Party Operator: If the invoice is issued by non-Party operator, information such as the name, address and country/place of the operator issuing the invoice should be provided in the application.
  6. Other details to identify the consignment: "Invoice No" is required for each product item and these data will be printed on the CO(Georgia). Traders may also indicate other necessary details to identify the consignment which the CO(Georgia) covers in the application if necessary. The customer's order number and letter of credit number may also be included on the CO(Georgia).

Supporting Documents for CO(Georgia) Applications

14.If required by the issuing organization and/or the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED), the manufacturer, subcontractor (if any) and the exporter of the goods applying for a CO(Georgia) should provide appropriate supporting documents and other relevant information proving that the goods covered in the application qualify as originating goods in accordance with Chapter 3 (Rules of Origin) of the HKCGFTA. This will include relevant information concerning any manufacturing processes completed in Hong Kong and Georgia, as well as the names and addresses of the parties (including subcontractors) involved.

Processing and Approval of CO(Georgia) Applications

15.The target turnaround time for TID's processing a CO(Georgia) application is 1.5 clear working days (excluding day of receipt), except for applications selected for pre-issue checks (paragraph 19 below).

Collection of CO(Georgia)

16.Upon approval of a CO(Georgia) application, the issuing organization will send an electronic approval message to the applicants through Electronic Service Providers. Exporters may print out the collection slip, apply its company chop on it, and collect the CO(Georgia) from the issuing organization.

Validity Period

17.A CO(Georgia) is valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance and should be submitted to the customs authorities of Georgia within that period.

Record Keeping Requirement

18.Under the HKCGFTA, manufacturers and/or exporters applying for the issuance of a CO(Georgia) are required to keep all its supporting records for application for not less than three years.

Verification of CO

19.In order to uphold the integrity of the origin certification system, TID, in conjunction with C&ED of Hong Kong, may conduct consignment checks to verify the accuracy of material particulars declared on CO(Georgia) applications. In particular, CO applicants should note that if an application is selected for pre-issue check, it will normally take a relatively longer time to process that application. Traders should bear this in mind in drawing up their shipment schedules. C&ED also conducts pre-registration factory inspections on FR applicants and periodic re-inspections upon registration.

20.For the purposes of determining whether an imported good qualifies as an originating good, the customs authorities of Georgia may conduct verification by requesting additional information from the importer or requesting administrative assistance from C&ED to conduct verification. The authorities of Georgia may also conduct verification visits arranged and accompanied by C&ED to the premises of the Hong Kong exporter or manufacturer, subject to the prior written consent of the exporter or manufacturer and in a manner to be jointly determined by the customs authorities of Georgia.

21.The authorities of Georgia may deny preferential treatment to the good in a case where the authenticity of the documents submitted or the originating status of the goods cannot be determined, due to no response to the requests from the authorities of Georgia for information within six months from the date of receipt of the request or insufficient information provided.

Request for Amendment

22.If amendment is required after the issuance of a CO(Georgia), traders can lodge an amendment request. The issuing organization will only consider the request for amendment provided that the CO(Georgia) 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(Georgia) must be returned to the issuing organization. Issuing organizations will consider each amendment request on its own merits.

Request for Cancellation

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

Application for Certified True Copy (CTC)

24.In the event of theft, loss or destruction of a CO(Georgia), traders may apply for a CTC of the CO(Georgia) by:

  1. explaining in writing the circumstances leading to the request; and
  2. providing supporting documents to substantiate the claim of theft, loss or destruction, and a photocopy of the CO(Georgia) concerned, where available.

25.Application form for a CTC of a CO(Georgia) issued by TID can be downloaded from TID's website <> or obtained from the FR&OC Branch of TID. The CTC of a CO(Georgia) will be issued within one year from the date of issuance of the original CO(Georgia) and will be valid during the term of validity of the original CO(Georgia). 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(Georgia) is used in claiming preferential tariff treatment under the HKCGFTA, the CTC of the CO(Georgia) will at once become invalid. Likewise, the original CO(Georgia) will become invalid once the CTC is used.

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

26.The application procedures and conditions of issuing CO(Georgia) may be reviewed after implementation. Any changes will be announced through Circulars to be issued by TID and on TID's website from time to time.

III. Customs Clearance

27.In the event that traders encounter problems in customs clearance of goods covered by a CO(Georgia), they may seek assistance from the FR&OC Branch of TID [contact details at paragraph 31 below]. However, TID will not accept any liability in cases where the customs authorities of Georgia do not accept the claim for preferential tariff treatment under the HKCGFTA.

IV. Handling of Information

28.CO(Georgia) issuing organizations will keep the data provided by traders in strict confidence. However, TID may under certain circumstances disclose such data to 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(Georgia) in question; the disclosure is authorized or required by the laws; or an explicit consent to the disclosure is given by the traders concerned.

V. Important Note and Warning

29.It is the responsibility of traders to complete the application for CO(Georgia) fully and truthfully, and provide the supporting documents as required under the issuing conditions for CO(Georgia). 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.

30.TID and GACOs work closely with 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/individuals may be liable to criminal prosecution for circumventing the conditions of CO(Georgia). 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(Georgia); suspension of all kinds of certification facilities; suspension/cancellation of FR of the company/registered business/individual concerned.

VI.  Enquiries

31.For enquiries, please contact us through the following channels:

Trade and Industry Department
(Factory Registration and Origin Certification Branch)
Tel: 2398 5545
Fax: 2787 6048
- The Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce
- The Federation of Hong Kong Industries
- The Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong
- The Indian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong
- The Chinese General Chamber of Commerce

Tel: 2395 5515
Tel: 2396 3318
Tel: 2542 8613
Tel: 2525 0138
Tel: 2526 0623
Electronic Service Providers
- Brio Electronic Commerce Limited 
- Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited

Tel: 2111 1288
Tel: 2917 8888

Yours faithfully,

(Nicholas FUNG)
for Director-General of Trade and Industry


Note 1: The Government Approved Certification Organizations (GACOs) include the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; the Federation of Hong Kong Industries; the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong; the Indian Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.

Note 2: The existing CO Electronic Service Providers are Brio Electronic Commerce Limited (Brio) and Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited (Tradelink). The contact details of the service providers can be found at paragraph 31.