Hong Kong Humanitarian Customs Regulations

This document was submitted in response to a questionnaire distributed by Global Hand regarding humanitarian customs information. It provides regulations for importing humanitarian aid into Hong Kong.

Required Documents

  • bill of lading/airway bill
  • import manifest, containing detailed information on descriptions of goods, packages, the consignor, the consignee and the carrier

Prohibited Goods

Import license is required for pharmaceutical products and medicines, textiles, frozen/chilled meat and poultry, pesticides and reserved commodities. Also, export controls are imposed on goods in the textiles and clothing sectors.

Tax Exemption

Hong Kong is a free port and no tariff is levied on importation or exportation of most goods, including humanitarian consignments. The only exceptions are hydrocarbon oil, tobacco, alcohol and liquors.

PreShipment Application

Pre-shipment application is not required. Generally speaking, import and export declaration must be lodged with custom within 14 days after the consignments have been imported or exported. However, there are articles exempted from the lodgement of declarations, examples include goods under Carnets (see “other info” below), transit/transhipment cargo, personal baggage and gifts. Import cargo is allowed immediate delivery upon fulfilling licensing requirements, if any.

Other Info

ATA Carnet (see below) can be obtained to expedite delivery of relief consignments for emergency humanitarian assistance, as Hong Kong is a Contracting Party to both the ATA Convention and the Istanbul Convention, under which the ATA Carnet is applicable.


Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department Date published: 20/06/2002


Regions / countries / territories

Asia: China - Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region)