Skip to main content

"Nil Waiver Fee" for Testing Labs Operating in Industrial Buildings

The measure is effective from 1 February 2016. The details on application procedures are set out in the Practice Note No. 1/2016 issued by Lands Department (LandsD).


  • The Government introduces this policy measure effective as from 1 February 2016 to facilitate the operation of testing and calibration laboratories (hereunder referred to as "testing laboratories") in industrial building. The Government hopes that this measure would offer testing laboratories more choices of suitable space in the market.
  • The leases of industrial buildings1 usually contain user restrictions. The uses permitted under such leases are typically specified as "industrial and/or godown purposes". However, testing laboratories not involving a primary manufacturing use are not considered as industrial use in the context of land leases.
  • The owner (or his/her agent) intending to use part(s) of or an entire industrial building can apply to LandsD for a waiver of the user condition of the land lease to allow testing laboratory use for the lifetime of the existing industrial building, or until the expiry or termination of the current land lease, whichever is the earlier.
  • For an approved application to LandsD for a waiver under this measure, the Government will exempt the waiver fee otherwise be chargeable for issuing waivers to allow use as a testing laboratory. However, applicants would need to pay an administrative fee as and when demanded by LandsD.
  • Applications would only be accepted if the premises concerned are located in an industrial building where testing laboratory use is permitted under the current land use zoning of the site on the statutory plan, or is subject to a valid planning permission granted by the Town Planning Board (TPB), or is considered as an existing use under the provisions of the statutory plan.
  • Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC) will advise LandsD whether or not the use as stated in an application is an eligible testing laboratory use.
  • For background information, please refer to the Legislative Council Brief.

Note 1: An industrial building refers to a building lawfully erected on a lot which, under the lease conditions, shall not be used for any purpose other than for industrial and/or godown purposes. Industrial buildings do not include special factories such as those located in storage premises in container terminals and flatted factories built by the Hong Kong Housing Authority, or lots for special industries such as cargo handling uses, ship building and repairing, oil storage and refining and production of associated chemical by-product, manufacture of polystyrene plastics, manufacture and storage of chlorine, hydrogen and textile chemicals, etc.

To learn more about the measure, please see FAQs.


For enquiries on whether a testing laboratory may benefit under this measure, please contact the Secretariat of the Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification (

For enquiries on application procedures, please contact the respective District Lands Office for which contact information can be found at