Government and various public organizations have been providing the following support to the testing and certification industry:
a. Introduction of 'Nil Waiver Fee' for Testing Laboratories Operating in Industrial Buildings
For details, please click here.
b. Accreditation Services
- Accreditation is the third-party attestation related to a conformity assessment body conveying formal demonstration of its competence to carry out specific conformity assessment tasks. In Hong Kong, accreditation is open and voluntary and is provided by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS) of the Innovation and Technology Commission.
For more information about HKAS and its accredited testing laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies, please visit:
c. Information on Standards
- The product standards library of Product Standards Information Bureau (PSIB) maintains a comprehensive collection of documents and publications on international standards for public. You may purchase copies of standards, guides, publications or handbooks issued by major standardization bodies through PSIB. It also offers free technical enquiry service on issues related to standards.
PSIB represents Hong Kong as a correspondent member of International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and nominates interested parties to attend ISO Technical Committees. As a result, professionals in Hong Kong can participate in the standardisation work of ISO and keep themselves up-to-date on developments.
For more information on the services provided by PSIB, please visit:
d. Measurement Traceability
- Traceability means that the result of a measurement can be related to a national or international measurement standard. In addition, the measuring instrument must be calibrated with a measurement standard that is itself traceable. The concept of traceability is important because it makes possible the comparison of the accuracy of measurements worldwide according to a standardised procedure. Metrology is the study of measurement and there are two major fields, viz. physical metrology and chemical metrology.
- The Standards and Calibration Laboratory (SCL) maintains the reference standards of physical measurement traceable to the International System of Units for Hong Kong, promotes the international acceptance of these standards, and provides traceable calibration services and proficiency testing services to serve the local economy.
For more information on the services provided by SCL, please visit:
- Government Laboratory (Govt Lab) provides chemical metrology support to the community through providing proficiency testing service, developing standard methods and producing reference material.
For more information on the services provided by Govt Lab, please visit:
e. Funding Schemes
- Innovation and Technology Fund (ITF)
ITF is established by Government with the aim of providing funding support for projects that contribute to innovation and technology upgrading in manufacturing and service industries. It is administered by ITC and is open to application from all sectors. Apart from funding research and development (R&D) activities, ITF also supports non-R&D projects like conferences, surveys and the like that promote innovation and technology.
ITF has several component programmes including Enterprise Support Scheme (ESS), the Innovation and Technology Support Programme (ITSP), the University-Industry Collaboration Programme (UICP) and the General Support Programme (GSP).
Establishments in the testing and certification industry can apply for ITF to enhance their technical capability.
ESS, a major funding initiative designed to encourage the private sector to invest in R&D, provides financing in support of R&D projects on a dollar-for-dollar matching basis. The recipient organisation will own all intellectual property rights arising from the project. For details, please refer to its webpage.
ITSP supports midstream/downstream R&D projects undertaken mainly by Universities, R&D Centres, industry support organisations, professional bodies as well as trade and industry associations. It operates in three tiers: Tier 1 provides funding to the R&D centres in respect of projects in selected focus areas. Tier 2 funding is for industry-oriented projects that have potential for commercialisation. Projects under Tier 3 are exploratory and forward-looking. For more details, please refer to its webpage.
UICP aims to stimulate interests in the private sector for R&D activities by assisting to forge a close collaboration between private companies and local universities. For details, please refer to its webpage.
GSP supports non-R&D projects that contribute to the upgrading and development of local industries, or help to foster a culture of innovation and technology. Conferences, exhibitions, studies and surveys are within the scope of GSP. For details, please refer to its webpage.
- The R&D Cash Rebate Scheme
Launched by ITC in 2010 provides further financial incentives to encourage enterprises to participate in R&D. Under the Scheme, enterprises conducting applied R&D projects with the support of ITF or in partnership with designated local research institutions will enjoy a cash rebate equivalent to 40% of their investments. For more details on the Scheme, please visit its webpage.
Funding Schemes for SMEs
- The Trade and Industry Department is administering the following three SME funding schemes to help SMEs secure loans, expand overseas markets and enhance their overall competitiveness -
SME Loan Guarantee Scheme
This scheme aims to help SMEs secure loans from the participating lending institutions (PLIs). Under the scheme, the Government acts as a guarantor for up to 50% of the loans approved by the PLIs. The maximum amount of loan guarantee for each SME is $6 million and the guarantee period is up to 5 years.
SME Export Marketing Fund
This scheme aims to help SMEs expand their business through participation in export promotion activities like exhibitions, trade fairs, trade missions, as well as advertising in trade publications targeting export markets and eligible trade websites. The maximum amount of grant for each application is 50% of the total approved expenditure, subject to a ceiling of $50,000. The maximum cumulative amount of grant which an SME may obtain is $150,000.
SME Development Fund
The scheme provides financial support to non-profit-distributing organisations operating as support organisation, such as trade and industrial organisations, professional bodies and research institutions, to implement projects which aim to enhance the competitiveness of SMEs. Each project can receive up to 90% of the project expenditure, subject to a ceiling of $5 million. Examples of approved projects include seminars, workshops, conferences, exhibitions, codes of best practices, databases, industrial support facilities and technology demonstration, etc. Projects which aim to assist Hong Kong's testing and certification industry can also receive funding under the scheme.
For details about the SME funding schemes, please visit: http://www.smefund.tid.gov.hk
f. Facilities Available for Shared Use
The Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (Science Park) jointly launched the ‘Lab Test One’ initiative. Through 'Lab Test One", private testing laboratories may use laboratory facilities and equipment at HKPC and Science Park at a fee. Examples include HKPC's special chamber for testing of electromagnetic compatibility and Science Park's equipment for testing LED lightings. "Lab Test One" has been expanding its partnership with more local Research and Development (R&D) Centres, universities and non-government organisations (NGOs). By making use of these facilities, testing laboratories will not need to make a huge investment on equipment if their business volume for particular tests is not high. Please click the digital platform of "Lab Test One" for details of the available facilities.
Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs run by the Trade and Industry Department
The Support and Consultation Centre for SMEs (SUCCESS) provides free and practical business information and consultation services for SMEs including business start-ups. For details of the location, information and services provided by SUCCESS, please visit: www.success.tid.gov.hk.
Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation
- The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) was created by statute with the aim of encouraging and supporting the export trade by providing Hong Kong exporters with insurance protection against non-payment risks arising from commercial and political events. Its capital is wholly owned by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which also guarantees its contingent liability, with the statutory maximum liability currently standing at HK$40 billion.
ECIC has been providing a wide range of insurance facilities for Hong Kong exporters of services. For the unique requirement of the testing and inspection industry, ECIC has the tailor-made Testing and Inspection Services Policy (TISP) to cover the credit risks for the industry when rendering services to overseas clients for credit periods of up to 180 days after the completion of services.
The events of loss covered in TISP include commercial risks (i.e. insolvency and payment default) and country risks (i.e. blockage or delay in foreign exchange remittance, payment moratorium and war, revolution, riot or natural disaster). Indemnity ratio is up to 90% of the loss.
Other benefits of TISP include credit management, receivable management and facilitating trade finance. ECIC’s insurance cover can thus enhance the credit management practice and competitiveness of the sector for developing new markets and clients and is vital for the promotion of Hong Kong’s testing and certification industry overseas.
For more details, please refer to www.hkecic.com or email to email@example.com.