Hong Kong


1. Does Hong Kong have a sanctions regime in place?


2. Does Hong Kong implement UN sanctions?


3. Does Hong Kong implement an autonomous sanctions regime?


4. What is the nature of the sanctions regime in Hong Kong?

Hong Kong implements legislation to give effect to UN sanctions. UN sanctions are generally implemented in Hong Kong through regulations under the United Nations Sanctions Ordinance (Cap. 537) (UNSO) (which explicitly excludes sanctions against the People’s Republic of China), alongside the United Nations (Anti-Terrorism Measures) Ordinance (Cap. 575) (UNATMO), which covers the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 1373 relating to terrorism. A designation by a Committee of the UNSC of a person as a terrorist or terrorist associate or of property as terrorist property is effected through specification by the Chief Executive under the UNATMO.

The legislation is supplemented by local anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing legislation, such as the Anti-money Laundering and Counter-financing of Terrorism Ordinance (Cap. 615) (AMLO), the Weapons of Mass Destruction (Control of Provisions of Services) Ordinance (Cap. 526), the Drug Trafficking (Recovery of Proceeds) Ordinance (Cap. 405) and the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance (Cap. 455).

5. Does Hong Kong maintain a list of sanctioned individuals and entities?


The Commerce, Industry and Tourism Branch of the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) maintains the following lists:

  • people subject to travel ban under the UNSO by country
  • people and entities subject to financial sanctions under the UNSO by country; and
  • people and entities subject to arms-related sanctions under the UNSO by country.

The lists can be found here. The Trade and Industry Department (TID) maintains a list of countries subject to United Nations sanctions and scope of the trade sanctions imposed. The list can be found here. The Security Bureau maintains a list of names of persons designated as terrorists or terrorist associates by Committees of the UNSC which can be found here.

6. Are there any other lists related to sanctions?

Hong Kong does not implement sanctions above and beyond those imposed by the UNSC. However, it has implemented local legislation that is supplemental to the relevant sanctions measures. For example, the AMLO imposes on financial institutions authorized by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) additional requirements relating to customer due diligence, transaction monitoring and record-keeping and provides the HKMA with powers to supervise compliance with those requirements.

7. Does Hong Kong have a licensing or authorization system in place?

Yes, in very limited circumstances, the Chief Executive and the Secretary of Security may grant a license authorizing activities that would otherwise contravene UNSO and UNATMO, respectively.

8. What are the consequences for a breach of sanctions in Hong Kong?

Contravention of sanctions under the UNSO shall be punishable (whether on summary conviction or on conviction on indictment) by a fine and imprisonment. The precise level of fine and term that could be imposed would depend on the regulation in question.

Contravention of the relevant provisions under the UNATMO shall be punishable on summary conviction by a fine of HKD100,000 and imprisonment for two years, or on conviction on indictment by an unlimited fine and imprisonment for 14 years.

9. Who are the relevant regulators in Hong Kong and what are their contact details?

All persons are required to report any asset frozen or actions taken in compliance with the targeted financial sanctions requirements by filing a Suspicious Transaction Report to the Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU), which is jointly run by staff members of the Hong Kong Police Force and the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department.

Joint Financial Intelligence Unit Police Headquarters Arsenal Street Wanchai T: (852) 2866 3366 E: jfiu@police.gov.hk

The Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) has overall responsibility in implementing the United Nations Sanctions in Hong Kong. Individuals or entities affected by targeted financial sanctions as a result of mistaken identification or confusion with individuals or entities on the relevant sanctions lists may submit written requests for clarification to the Commerce, Industry and Tourism Branch of CEDB, after requesting an explanation from the institution that froze the assets,

Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (Commerce, Industry and Tourism Branch) 23/F West Wing Central Government Offices 2 Tim Mei Avenue Tamar Hong Kong T: (+852) 3655 5170 E: citbenq@cedb.gov.hk

The Trade & Industry Department (TID) is responsible for implementing trade sanctions. Trade & Industry Department, Trade and Industry Tower 3 Concorde Road, Kowloon City Hong Kong

T: (+852) 2392 2922 E: enquiry@tid.gov.hk

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) are responsible for supervising compliance by authorized and licensed institutions with financial sanctions in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Monetary Authority 55th Floor, Two International Finance Centre 8 Finance Street Central Hong Kong T: (+852) 2878 8196 E: hkma@hkma.gov.hk

Securities and Futures Commission 54/F, One Island East 18 Westlands Road, Quarry Bay, Hong Kong

T: (+852) 2231 1222 E: enquiry@sfc.hk

Contributor law firm

Adam Ferguson


Jocelyn Chow

Senior Associate

Eversheds Sutherland

37/F, One Taikoo Place

979 King's Road

Quarry Bay

Hong Kong SAR

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