Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA)
Application for Hong Kong Investor Certificate
- "Investor" means one side, or a natural person or an enterprise of one side, that seeks to make, is making or has made a covered investment1.
- Both "enterprises" and "natural persons" of Hong Kong can enjoy the preferential treatment offered by the Mainland if they fulfil the definition and relevant requirements of Hong Kong investors under the Investment Agreement. A Hong Kong investor as an enterprise means an entity constituted or organised under the laws of Hong Kong, and a branch of such an entity. A Hong Kong investor as a natural person means a Hong Kong permanent resident.
- Under the Investment Agreement, Hong Kong investors enjoy more preferential investment access to the Mainland than investors from other countries and regions in specific non-services sectors. Such non-services sectors are:
- manufacture of common ships (including subsection);
- manufacture of civil aircrafts (for trunk and branch lines) and civil helicopters (of three tons or more);
- manufacture of general purpose aircrafts;
- mining of special and scarce coals; and
- smelting of tungsten.
- Hong Kong enterprises are subject to specific requirements of substantive business operations and need to apply for the Hong Kong Investor Certificate (HKI Certificate) when they have new investment in the Mainland in the form of "commercial presence" in non-services sectors with preferential access to Hong Kong. Under the Investment Agreement, "commercial presence" means any type of business or professional establishment of one side, including through: (a) the constitution, acquisition or operation of an enterprise, or (b) the constitution or operation of a branch or a representative office. Application procedures for HKI Certificate are set out in the Notice to Investors.
- Investors making investments in forms other than "commercial presence" (such as purchase of financial products, properties and intangible assets, etc.), or investors in non-service sectors other than those with preferential access to Hong Kong, are not required to apply for the HKI Certificate.
- A Hong Kong investor who wants to apply as a natural person to the relevant Mainland's examining authorities for preferential treatment under the Investment Agreement is not required to apply for an HKI Certificate. However, according to Article 3.2 of Annex 1 to the Investment Agreement, he or she should provide to the relevant Mainland's examining authorities identification of his or her Hong Kong permanent resident status. He or she should also provide his/her Home Visit Permit for Hong Kong and Macau Residents or HKSAR passport if he or she is a Chinese citizen.
1 "Covered investment" means, with respect to one side, an investment in its area that an investor of the other side owns or controls, directly or indirectly, and exists on the date of entry into force of the Investment Agreement or is made or acquired thereafter.