Effective 19 April 2017, a new rule issued by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) will require exporters or re-exporters of certain items subject to the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to obtain and maintain proof of import or export authorization issued by the government of Hong Kong. Under the rule, persons seeking to export or re-export to Hong Kong any item subject to the EAR and controlled for national security (NS), missile technology (MT), nuclear nonproliferation (NP column 1), or chemical and biological weapons (CB) reasons must first obtain a copy of a Hong Kong import licence or a written statement from the Hong Kong government that no such licence is required.

The rule imposes similar requirements on persons seeking to reexport from Hong Kong any such items. As stated by BIS, the rule intends to complement Hong Kong’s export controls regulation and enable the US to provide greater assurance that exported US-origin items are properly authorised by the US to their final destination, even when passing through Hong Kong.