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Chinese Medicines

Chinese Medicines Testing (PDF version)

Chinese Medicines Testing

Hong Kong's Testing and Certification Services for Chinese Medicines

Hong Kong's Testing Services for Chinese Medicines

  • a.Benefits of Chinese Medicines Testing


    Hong Kong is an international trading hub of Chinese medicines. Chinese herbal medicines and proprietary Chinese medicines (pCm) sold in Hong Kong are generally with good quality. To ensure that products are genuine, not misprocessed (such as bleached), and are free from adulteration and contamination, testing and certification is indispensable. Hong Kong has an efficient and competent testing and certification sector to provide the relevant support.

    Testing and certification of Chinese medicines can bring about many benefits to:

    1. Users: It can help users to identify genuine products, reduces the chance of buying fake, misprocessed (such as bleached), adulterated or contaminated products.
    2. Manufacturers and Traders: It can help enhance customer confidence and satisfaction, increase sales, and reduce the risk of costly recalls and lawsuits.
    3. Chinese Medicine Practitioners: It can ensure that prescriptions are filled with genuine and quality medicinal herbs.
    4. Hong Kong: It can promote the further development of the testing and certification sector and reinforce the position and strategic advantage of Hong Kong as a testing and certification hub of Chinese medicines. This in turn will sustain the economic growth of Hong Kong in the long run.
  • b.Proprietary Chinese Medicines Testing


    Under the Chinese Medicine Ordinance (Chapter 549 of the Laws of Hong Kong), testing for heavy metals, toxic elements, pesticide residues and microbial limits has been required for the registration of proprietary Chinese Medicines (pCm) since 2003 to ensure that they can meet the safety requirements. For more details, please visit the website of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong.

  • c.Chinese Materia Medica Testing


    Many types of Chinese medicines can now be tested against the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards (HKCMMS) or the Pharmacopeia of the People's Republic of China. The HKCMMS is of great importance because it can provide relevant standards for safety and quality testing of Chinese materia medica. As Chinese materia medica are raw materials for pCm, the testing could help to ensure the quality of pCm concerned.

  • d.Chinese Medicines Testing Services Provided by Laboratories in Hong Kong


    Proprietary Chinese medicines

    Safety testing

    1. Heavy metals and toxic elements
    2. Pesticide residues
    3. Microbiological examinations

    Quality and other testing

    1. Analysis to product specifications
    2. Stability
    3. Other tests according to the Pharmacopeia of People's Republic of China, e.g. water, weight variation, filling variation and disintegration

    Chinese Materia Medica


    1. Authentication by visual examination, microscopic identification and chromatographic fingerprinting

    Safety testing

    1. Heavy metals and toxic elements
    2. Pesticide residues
    3. Aflatoxins

    Quality and other testing

    1. Testing according to the Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards(HKCMMS) or the Pharmacopeia of People's Republic of China for quality, e.g. assay, ash, water content and extractives
  • e.Laboratories Accredited by HKAS Providing Testing Services on Chinese Medicines


    Details of the organisations providing the public with one or several types of accredited Chinese medicines testing services are available at HKAS's website.