News & Insights

SFC licensing and compliance hints – Aug 2018

Importing computers from overseas can be a criminal offence

There have been instances of companies unwittingly committing offences when importing computer servers to Hong Kong. Why? Because those computer servers have been classified as “strategic commodities” under the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations, requiring an Import Licence issued by the Trade and Industry Department prior to importation.

To check if an item is considered a “Strategic Commodity”, you may wish to visit the Strategic Commodities Control System’s ( website for details. You can also use the free pre-classification service ( for advice on whether the item requires a licence.

Licensed entities should note that they are required to notify the SFC of offences, including the offence of importing strategic commodities into Hong Kong without a licence.

Q&A on submission of FRR returns

Licensed companies need to submit their FRR returns to the SFC using SFC e-Certificates which are issued to responsible officers.

Do responsible officers automatically get an e-Certificate?  No, they have to apply for it separately.

How many e-Certificates can a licensed company have?  Two, typically.

Can the financial controller or someone else in the licensed company submit the FRR returns using the responsible officer’s e-Certificate?  No. The relevant responsible officer must submit and sign FRR returns using his/her e-Certificate.

Can non responsible officers submit FRR returns for the licensed company?  Yes but only if they have been approved by the SFC as an authorised person for signing and submitting FRR returns for the company. Once the person becomes an authorised person, s/he can then apply for his/her own e-Certificate for submitting the FRR returns.

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