Market Information

Hong Kong

Your Hong Kong cheat sheet which covers customs clearance and import duties for your e-commerce international shipping needs, eCommerce insights, and more

Hong Kong's B2C Customs Clearance Info and eCommerce Insights

Hong Kong Flag
IDHK
CapitalHong Kong
Official LanguageCantonese
CurrencyHong Kong Dollar (HK$)
Population Size7.49 million

Hong Kong’s eCommerce Market

Hong Kong’s eCommerce market revenue amounts to US$4.784 billion in 2019. This revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 7.9%, resulting in a market volume of US$6.484 billion by 2023.

This projected increase is largely driven by a digital-savvy consumer population in Hong Kong, with more than half of the population shopping online consistently across different screens, and a continuous increase in the value of e-wallet transactions.

Customs & regulations

Import Duty and Taxes
Goods and Services Tax (GST)N/A
Import Duties*0%
Total tax applicable0%

*In general, B2C imports into the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) are tax-free.

Some exceptions to this include:

  • Motor vehicles for use on the road which are subject to a First Registration Tax administered by the Transport Department; and
  • The four types of dutiable commodities which are subject to excise duties, irrespective of whether they are imported or locally manufactured. These goods are liquors, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil and methyl alcohol

There is no tax or excise duty on exports from HKSAR. For more information, please visit Hong Kong’s Customs and Excise Department.

Restricted and Forbidden Goods

Restricted items that must meet certain conditions before going through customs clearance:

  • Controlled Chemicals
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Explosives, Firearms and Ammunition
  • Food
  • Hazardous Chemicals
  • Weapons
  • Chinese Herbal Medicines and Proprietary Chinese Medicines
  • Pharmaceutical Products and Medicines
  • Radio Transmitting Equipment
  • And others, please refer to the official controlled imports list 

Prohibited items that cannot be imported into the market:

  • Dutiable commodities such as alcoholic liquor and tobacco
  • Radio communication transmitting apparatus
  • Pharmaceutical products and medicines
  • optic disc mastering and replication equipment
  • Rice
  • Pesticides
  • Food materials such as colouring matter and preservatives
  • Meat and animal products
  • Smokeless tobacco products
  • Ozone depleting substances
  • Powdered formula

This list may change depending on government regulations. Visit the official customs page for the latest version.

Documentation

For your B2C goods to pass Hong Kong’s customs clearance, you’ll need to provide the following documents:

1. Packing List

This gives product details, shipment volume in kilogram or cubic meter, and serves as a checklist to ensure shipment has been packed correctly or not.

2. Commercial Invoice

This gives total shipment value usually in US dollar. Helps to determine the import duties and taxes, and eligibility of shipment.

If you are shipping B2B or without a logistics partner that can clear customs on your behalf, you may need to include the following shipping documentation as well:

  • manifests;
  • import / export licence or removal permit (if required);
  • copy of detention notice (if applicable); and / or
  • other supporting documents such as bill of lading, airway bill, invoice, packing list etc.

Additional
information

Payment preferences:

Cards (credit, debit and prepaid) are the most common method of payment, utilised by 50.6% of the Hong Kong population in 2019, followed by E-Wallets, constituting 36.9% of the population.

However, this trend is expected to change within the next 5 years as there is a projected switch in top preference, from cards to e-wallets. By 2023, 58% of the Hong Kong population is projected to mainly be utilising e-wallets, while cards usage is expected to drop to a mere 24%.

Non-working days in 2019

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays are non-working days. Please expect shipment delays on these days.

List of public holidays:

DateHoliday
Jan 1New Year’s Day
Feb 5 – 7 (Varies based on Lunar Calendar)Chinese New Year
Apr 5Qingming Festival
Apr 19Good Friday
Apr 20The day following Good Friday
Apr 22Easter Monday
May 1Labour Day
May 13The day following the Birthday of the Buddha
Jun 7Tuen Ng Festival
Jul 1Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day
Sep 14The day following the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival
Oct 1National Day
Oct 7Chung Yeung Festival
Dec 25Christmas Day
Dec 26The first weekday after Christmas Day

Market
Opportunities

Popular eCommerce Item Categories
  1. Electronics & Media such as consumer electronics
  2. Fashion Apparel
  3. Toys, Hobby & DIY
  4. Furniture & Appliances
  5. Food & Personal Care
Popular Shopping Seasons
Event NameEvent Period
Chinese New YearUsually in Jan or Feb
Summer Fun FestivalJune – August
Single’s Day (11/11)Nov 11
ChristmasNov – Dec
Popular Shipping Destinations
EXPORTS
RankMarket
1China
2United States
3India
4Japan
5Thailand
IMPORTS
RankMarket
1China
2Singapore
3Japan
4Korea
5United States
                               
Table of content
                                       

Table of content

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Janio Bi-Weekly News Round-up | End-April 2019
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