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Agreement on Trade in Services

The Agreement on Trade in Services (“The Services Agreement”) was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR in November 2015. In addition to introducing the new liberalisation measure of implementing, on a pilot basis, a mutual recognition arrangement of certification and relevant testing business among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao in the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone, with a view to carrying out "certified once, tested once, and results accepted by three places", the Services Agreement covers and consolidates commitments (relating to liberalisation of trade in services and the testing and certification sector) provided in CEPA and its Supplements and also the Guangdong Agreement. The Mainland has formulated an Implementation Guide, which provides further details of the new liberalisation measure covered in the Services Agreement.

In December 2018, by way of Exchange of Letters, the Mainland revised the Services Agreement, with a view to further opening up the China Compulsory Certification (“CCC”) market to Hong Kong. The new measure allows Hong Kong testing organisations to cooperate with designated Mainland certification bodies to undertake CCC testing on all products that are processed or manufactured in the Mainland requiring CCC. The Implementation Guide of this measure, which came into effect on 1 March 2019, has been promulgated.

Latest development

On 21 November 2019, an Agreement (“Amendment Agreement”) was signed between the Mainland and HKSAR to amend the Services Agreement. The Amendment Agreement sets out the following further liberalisation measures: –

  • On the scope of testing of CCC products that can be undertaken by qualified Hong Kong testing organisations in collaboration with designated Mainland organisations: To expand from products processed or manufactured in the Mainland or processed in Hong Kong to products processed or manufactured in any place (including places outside China).
  • On the geographical coverage of CCC factory inspection that can be undertaken by qualified certification bodies in Hong Kong in collaboration with designated Mainland organisations: To expand from manufacturers located in the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone to manufacturers in the whole Mainland; and to add a new task that can be undertaken by qualified certification bodies in Hong Kong, i.e. the selection of post-certification test samples at factories manufacturing CCC products in the whole Mainland.

The above measures came into effect on 1 June 2020. The Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (“CNCA”) has promulgated the Implementation Guide on the revised and new liberalisation measures.

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