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Ref : TRA CR 1318/2
28 July 2004
Certificate of Origin Circular No. 9/2004
Provision of Up-to-date Information on Manufacturer's Authorized Signatories
Further to the Certificate of Origin Circular No. 16/2003 dated 2 June 2003, this circular serves to remind manufacturers the requirement of providing the Department with up-to-date information on Manufacturer's Authorized Signatories under the Factory Registration (FR).
Requirement of Lodgement of Manufacturer's Authorized Signatories
- Manufacturers must be registered with the Trade and Industry Department for FR before they are eligible to apply for Certificate of Origin (CO) [including Certificate of Hong Kong Origin (CHKO), Certificate of Origin-Processing (CoP) and Certificate of Origin (CEPA)]. A FR registrant is legally bound to observe all conditions of registration. Any material change in registration particulars including authorized signatories must be notified in writing to the Department immediately. Failure to update the registration particulars may render its applications deferred or rejected.
- To protect the interest of the trade and as a measure to step up the integrity of Hong Kong's origin certification system, any application not signed by an authorized signatory(ies) of the company(ies)/registered business(es) concerned as kept in the Department's FR record will be deferred/rejected. Traders should therefore make sure that their applications are lodged by their authorized signatories.
- Manufacturers who make use of the EDI service provided by Tradelink Electronic Commerce Limited (Tradelink) are also reminded to ensure that the persons registered with Tradelink for signing electronic applications are identical to the authorized signatories provided to the Department.
Handling of Information
- The certificate issuing organizations will keep the data provided by traders in strict confidence. However, the Trade and Industry Department may under certain circumstances disclose such data to the Customs and Excise Department 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 application in question; the disclosure is authorized or required by the laws; or with an explicit consent to the disclosure given by the traders concerned.
- The Trade and Industry Department and the Government Approved Certification Organizations (GACOs) (Note) work closely with the Customs and Excise Department, through checks and inspections, to ensure compliance with the provisions of 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 may be liable to criminal prosecution for circumventing the conditions of issuing CO. A company/registered business which commits an offence under the Ordinances is liable to a maximum penalty of a fine of HK$500,000 and 2 years' imprisonment. Moreover, the Trade and Industry Department 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 certificate including CO; suspension of all kinds of certification facilities; cancellation of Factory Registration of the company/registered business concerned.
- Should you require further information on the content of this circular, please contact the Customer Service Centre (Tel No. : 2398 5525) or Factory Registration Section (Tel No. : 2398 5531) of Certification Branch.
for Director-General of Trade and Industry
To : All Trade and Industrial Associations
All Subscribers of Certification Branch Circulars
All manufacturers registered under Factory Registration
Note : The five Government Approved Certification Organizations are the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce; 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.
For enquiries about factory inspection and consignment checks,
please contact the Customs and Excise Department at 2398 5206