Certificate of Origin Circulars
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Ref : FRCP 810
1 August 2006
Certificate of Origin Circular No. 13/2006
Outward Processing Arrangement (OPA) Registration
This Circular serves to update manufacturers of the requirements and procedures for Outward Processing Arrangement registration. Certificate of Origin Circular No. 7/2003 dated 14 April 2003 on the same subject is hereby superseded.
Outward Processing Arrangement
- The Outward Processing Arrangement (OPA) enables manufacturers registered with the Trade and Industry Department to subcontract outside Hong Kong the subsidiary or minor finishing processes without affecting the eligibility of such goods for attaining Hong Kong origin status.
Conditions of Participation
A prerequisite for participation in the OPA is that the goods concerned must have undergone the principal manufacturing processes (Note 1) in Hong Kong which are sufficient to qualify them as of Hong Kong origin.
- Manufacturers who wish to participate in the OPA must hold a valid Factory Registration (FR) and obtain prior OPA registration with the Trade and Industry Department. To obtain a valid FR, manufacturers are required to observe all the conditions of registration which include, among other things, paying an annual registration fee and maintaining accurate and up-to-date books and records on production. The continuation of FR is conditional upon manufacturers' compliance with all the registration requirements at all times. Manufacturers can approach the Customer Service Centre of the Factory Registration and CO(CEPA) Branch at 3/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon (tel. no. 2398 5525) for details relating to FR requirements.
Revised Application Procedures for OPA Registration
To obtain OPA registration, manufacturers should complete the Application Form for OPA Registration (TID 121) at Appendix I (pdf format), which can also be obtained from the Customer Service Centre of Factory Registration and CO(CEPA) Branch, or the Department's web site (http://www.tid.gov.hk). The form must be completed and signed by the director / sole proprietor / partner / Factory Registration Signatory of the manufacturer. Alternatively, the form can be signed by a person as authorized by the proprietor / partner(s) / board of directors of the manufacturer; in this case, an authorization letter should be provided.
The completed form can be returned to the Customer Service Centre by fax (fax no. 2787 6048), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), by post (3/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon), or in person.
Provided there being no complications, the application for OPA registration will be approved after three clear working days and with a total of 10 OPA Registration Cards issued to the applicant or his authorized representative in person at the Customer Service Centre. Manufacturers should take good care of the OPA Registration Cards issued to them since the Cards underpin manufacturers' eligibility for participating in the OPA.
The Manufacturer's Authorized Signatories (MAS) of the OPA applicant, as notified to and recorded by the Department, will be the authorized persons to sign or make amendment on OPA Combined Forms (Note 2) for and on behalf of the manufacturer. The names of the MAS will be printed on the OPA Registration Cards. Applicants who wish to amend the list of MAS should first approach the Factory Registration Section (tel. no. 2398 5531) for amendment of MAS before lodging their OPA applications, otherwise MAS information listed on the OPA Registration Cards issued will not be up-to-date. Please refer to Certificate of Origin Circulars No. 16/2003 dated 2 June 2003 and No. 9/2004 dated 28 July 2004 for details regarding MAS requirements.
- Manufacturers are required to notify the Department of any amendment of their registration particulars subsequent to the issue of the OPA Registration Cards. An Application Form for amendment of OPA registration particulars (TID 122) can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre of Factory Registration and CO(CEPA) Branch or downloaded from the Department's web site (http://www.tid.gov.hk). The completed form can be returned to the Customer Service Centre by fax (fax no. 2787 6048), by email (email@example.com), by post or in person. In the event that the amendment necessitates the re-issue of OPA Registration Cards, all OPA Registration Cards issued previously must be surrendered to the Department for cancellation.
Validity of OPA Registration
An OPA registration is approved on condition that the manufacturer concerned possesses an active and valid FR with the Department. Upon cancellation of a manufacturer's FR (cancellation either initiated by the manufacturer or by the Director-General of Trade and Industry), the OPA registration will with immediate effect be cancelled. Manufacturer must return all its OPA Registration Cards to the Department immediately once its FR is cancelled. Besides, the OPA registration of a manufacturer will be suspended with immediate effect if its FR is suspended by the Director-General.
- The OPA Registration will be valid until the FR of the manufacturer expires. Manufacturers who wish to continue to use the OPA should renew their FR registration annually. The Department will remind the trade of the relevant procedures for renewal of their FR and OPA registration in due course.
Export and Import Procedures
When exporting goods for outward processing and re-importing outward processed goods, manufacturers or their representatives are required to present all the documents set out in the "Guidance Notes on Export/Import Procedures and Documentation Requirements of Outward Processing Arrangement" (at Appendix II ) to officers of the Customs and Excise Department (Customs officers) at boundary control points.
A list of the location of the Customs boundary control points for processing exports and re-imports of OPA goods can be found at the back of the Combined Form.
- On both exportation and importation, all documents required would be checked by Customs officers who may also conduct selective cargo examination. Provided there being no complications, the Combined Forms will be validated by Customs officers. Results of the document/cargo examination will be indicated on the Forms. For details of the exportation and importation procedures and documentation requirements, please refer to the "Guidance Notes on Export/Import Procedures and Documentation Requirements of Outward Processing Arrangement" at Appendix II.
The Combined Form for Export and Import of Goods under OPA (TRA 577) is available for sale at the Collection and Form Sales Office, 1/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon. Please refer to the "Guidance Notes on How to Complete a Combined Form for Export and Import of Goods under OPA" at Appendix III for details of completion of Combined Form.
- A Combined Form is designed to allow up to two separate re-import shipments. Manufacturers are reminded that the goods covered by each Original Copy of the 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 period.
- Manufacturers registered under OPA are required to comply with the conditions and requirements announced by the Director-General of Trade and Industry through Certificate of Origin Circulars (COCs) from time to time. In particular, they are reminded to comply with the conditions and requirements stipulated in the following circulars, which can be downloaded from the Department's web site (http://www.tid.gov.hk):
|11.6.2001||Additional Requirements under the OPA for Certain Textile Made-up Articles|
|15/2004||3.12.2004||OPA for Piece-Knitted Garments|
Certificate of Hong Kong Origin Requirements for Textiles Exports to the European Union
- Manufacturers registered with the Department under OPA must maintain accurate and up-to-date books and records to evidence that the principal manufacturing process of the registered product has taken place in Hong Kong. The books and records required to be maintained are specified in the application for Factory Registration and/or announced by the Director-General of Trade and Industry through Certificate of Origin Circulars. Failure to comply with these requirements may lead to cancellation of FR and OPA registrations and other appropriate action.
Manufacturers are reminded that the requirements and procedures set out in this Circular relate only to the sub-contracting of subsidiary or minor finishing operations outside Hong Kong under OPA. Manufacturers should also comply with other licensing or documentation requirements that would need to be followed for the export and import of the particular products concerned.
Manufacturers should complete the Combined Form properly and provide accurate, up-to-date and all necessary particulars in the appropriate fields on the Form. Failure to do so may lead to delay in processing or refusal to validate by Customs officers and/or other legal/administrative action to be taken against the parties concerned.
- The "Guidance Notes on Export/Import Procedures and Documentation Requirements of Outward Processing Arrangement" and "Guidance Notes on How to Complete a Combined Form for Export and Import of Goods under Outward Processing Arrangement (OPA)" are subject to revision from time to time. Manufacturers are reminded to observe any changes in the updated version of the Guidance Notes which will be distributed at the Customer Service Centre of Factory Registration and CO(CEPA) Branch and available at the Department's web site (http://www.tid.gov.hk).
- The Trade and Industry Department works closely with the Customs and Excise Department, through checks and inspections, to ensure that manufacturers registered under the OPA are in compliance with the registration conditions. Any abuses of the OPA system are taken seriously. In addition to prosecution under the Import and Export Ordinance, which provides for a penalty of a fine of HK$500,000 and 2 years imprisonment, the Trade and Industry Department may also take administrative actions against the parties 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 validate a Combined Form; refusal to issue a certificate of origin; suspension of all kinds of certification facilities; and cancellation of the FR and OPA Registration of the parties concerned.
Manufacturers who wish to seek clarifications on the manufacturing processes allowable to be subcontracted outside Hong Kong should lodge such enquiries with the Outward Processing Arrangement Section. In this context, an Enquiry Form (TID 124) can be obtained from the Customer Service Centre of the Factory Registration and CO(CEPA) Branch, 3/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon or downloaded from the Department's web site (http://www.tid.gov.hk). Manufacturers should complete and return the enquiry form to the Customer Service Centre in person, together with samples and photos of the product in question.
- Should you require further information on the contents of this circular, please contact the Outward Processing Arrangement Section (tel. no. 2398 5533) or the Customer Service Centre (tel. no. 2398 5525) of Factory Registration and CO(CEPA) Branch, 3/F, Trade and Industry Department Tower, 700 Nathan Road, Kowloon.
( Herman Kwan )
for Director-General of Trade and Industry
(Note 1) : Principal manufacturing process(es) is/are the process(es) of manufacture required to be performed in Hong Kong which confers origin to a finished article. The prevailing origin criteria for individual products are detailed in Certificate of Origin Circular No. 17/2004 dated 24 December 2004.
(Note 2) : OPA Combined Forms are used to cover the export and re-import of goods for outward processing under OPA. For details, please refer to paragraphs 12 to 16 below.