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New Hong Kong-Mainland reciprocal enforcement of judgments regime comes into effect today

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Authored by: Joseph Kwan

Today, Hong Kong has become the only jurisdiction in the world to have such a wide reciprocal enforcement regime with Mainland China. This has placed Hong Kong in a special position in the resolution of cross-border disputes.  

The Mainland Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap 645) (the “Ordinance”) comes into effect on 29 January 2024 and provides a more cost-effective and straightforward mechanism for cross-border enforcement of judgments.  The Ordinance applies to judgments made on or after 29 January 2024 and makes provisions for:

  • enforcing a Mainland judgment in Hong Kong, by way of application to the Hong Kong court for registration of the judgment; and
  • facilitating the recognition and enforcement of a Hong Kong judgment in the Mainland, by way of application to the Hong Kong court for a certified copy of the judgment and Certificate.

The Ordinance applies to a wide range of Hong Kong and Mainland judgments, given in proceedings which are civil or commercial in nature (or criminal in nature, where the judgment contains an order for the payment of money) and which do not fall within the list of “excluded judgments” in the Ordinance.

The new law will bring benefits such as:

  • removing the need to re-litigate those disputes whose judgments have been made in Hong Kong or the Mainland;
  • expanding the types of judgments that can be enforced/recognised. The new law covers monetary judgments and non-monetary judgments;
  • removing the requirement for the parties to have agreed to the exclusive jurisdiction of a Hong Kong or Mainland court;
  • expanding the levels of courts whose judgments will be enforced/recognised.

Key Contacts

Joseph Kwan

Partner | Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Email or call +852 2825 9324

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