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Hong Kong Market Access for Electrical and R&TT Products

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China. Hong Kong operates a separate certification regime with separate technical standards and with no provisions such as mutual recognition with China.

Let's clarify the main market access procedures applicable to electrical and R&TT products in the region.

Safety approval

According to the Government of Hong Kong, Electrical & Mechanical Services Department (EMSD), all household electrical products must comply with the Electrical Products Safety Regulation (EPSR) and hold the valid safety compliance certification.

The Hong Kong Safety Mark Scheme (HKSM Scheme) is an independent product certification program applicable to manufacturers, retailers, importers, and distributors for a wide range of different products, particularly electrical appliances which are under control of safety regulations. Being developed, operated, and administered by the Hong Kong Certification Centre (HKCC), the Scheme was commissioned in 1998.

The Regulation applies to all electrical products that are:

  1. designed for household use

  2. supplied in Hong Kong (including those imported, manufactured locally or intended for use outside Hong Kong)

The Scheme includes, but is not limited to, the following products:

  • Electrical and electronic products

  • Household products, such as air conditioners, ovens, refrigerators, etc.

  • Toys and products for children

  • Medical devices

  • Industrial and commercial instruments

  • Other products covered under Hong Kong product safety regulations

The Regulation requires all household electrical products comply with the "essential safety requirements" to protect users from hazards arising from the electrical products and hazards, which may be caused by external influences on the electrical products.

Under the EPSR, certain types of household electrical products which are of special nature and more liable to cause hazards are distinguished between “Prescribed Products” and “Non-Prescribed Products”.

The following Prescribed products shall comply with the "specific safety requirements" in addition to the "essential safety requirements":

  • plugs

  • adaptors

  • lampholders

  • flexible cords

  • extension units

  • unvented thermal storage type electric water heaters

Household electrical products other than these 6 types of “Prescribed products” are considered to be "Non-Prescribed products". For some particular types of electrical products, certain additional safety requirements are stipulated in the Regulation. For instance, a 110V a.c. electrical product must bear the following warning label:

The EPSR stipulates that a “Certificate of Safety Compliance” have to be issued for any electrical product designed for household use before it can be supplied on the market.

For a “Prescribed product”, the following documents can be accepted as a certificate of safety compliance:

  1. a declaration of conformity issued by a "recognized manufacturer"

  2. a certificate or test report issued by a "recognized certification body"

For a “Non-prescribed product”, the following documents can be accepted as a certificate of safety compliance:

  1. a declaration of conformity issued by the product manufacturer

  2. a declaration of conformity issued by a "recognized manufacturer"

  3. a certificate or test report issued by a "recognized certification body"

Certified products are supplied with the Hong Kong Safety Mark License (certificate) by a recognized certification body and are authorized to bear the following Hong Kong Safety Mark:

The Hong Kong Safety Mark on any certified product will be identified with the holder of the License. The following illustrations indicate how this identification requirement is met:

Products, such as electrical appliance, luminary products, audio & video products, information technology equipment and other electronic accessories, must prove to be safety compliant and obtain a License comprising both the EMC and safety test compliance certificates.

The Hong Kong Safety Mark is used to signify EMC compliance.

Energy Efficiency approval

The Hong Kong’s Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) operates an Energy Efficiency Labeling Scheme for electric appliances and equipment.

The Government has introduced the Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme (MEELS) through the Energy Efficiency (Labelling of Products) Ordinance.

The MEELS is implemented in phases. Currently, the MEELS covers eight types of prescribed products:

  • Refrigerating appliances with rated the total storage volume not exceeding 500L

  • Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) with the rated wattage not exceeding 60W

  • Dehumidifiers with the rated dehumidifying capacity not exceeding 35L per day

  • Washing machines with the rated washing capacity not exceeding 7kg or 10kg (grace period until November 30, 2019)

  • Room air conditioners including both cooling and heating performances (grace period until November 30, 2019)

  • Televisions (grace period until November 30, 2019)

  • Storage-type electric water heaters (grace period until November 30, 2019)

  • Induction cookers (grace period until 30.11.2019)

The MEELS in Hong Kong requires manufacturers or importers of the prescribed products to conduct tests in testing laboratories accredited under the Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme (“HOKLAS”) or under an accreditation scheme operated by a laboratory/accreditation body in other economies with which HOKLAS has concluded a mutual recognition arrangement. The tests must be carried out in accordance with the Code of Practice on Energy Labelling of Products (“CoP”).

Prior to supplying a prescribed product in Hong Kong, an importer or local manufacturer must submit the product information, including a test report of the product model, to EMSD for the assignment of a reference number. The EMSD maintains a record of all listed models on their website.

Manufacturers or importers are required to attach energy labels in the prescribed format specified in the Ordinance before supplying these products in Hong Kong.

Example of energy label (air conditioner)

The EEL ranking is divided, based on the relative energy-efficiency performance of domestic electrical appliances, into 5 grades, with Grade 1 being the most efficient.

Telecommunication approval

The Hong Kong's Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) is a government department supporting the Communication Authority (CA) in managing and administrating the radio frequency spectrum and telecommunication approval. The OFCA has transferred responsibility for type approval for telecommunications and radio equipment to private certification bodies known as local certification bodies (LCB).

Suppliers or manufacturers of the equipment that is under the scope of technical standards are required to ensure that their equipment meets the prescribed technical requirements in technical standards stipulated or approved by the CA or in HKTEC Scheme or in HKCA specifications.

The OFCA operates a Hong Kong Telecommunications Equipment Evaluation and Certification (HKTEC) Scheme. The HKTEC is a scheme for the evaluation and certification of telecommunications equipment (TE) and Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) equipment emitting radio frequency energy intentionally are prescribed by the CA.

Under this Scheme, Certification Bodies (CBs) are accredited under section 32E of the Telecommunications Ordinance or a Foreign Certification Body recognized pursuant to the APEC Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Conformity Assessment of Telecommunications Equipment to carry out evaluation and certification of the TE and ISM equipment against the technical specifications. The CB may examine a test report and other relevant documents and information produced by a Recognized Testing/Certification Agency (RTA).

The following equipment is under the scope of the HKTEC Scheme:

  • Wireless microphone equipment not exempted from licensing

  • Citizen Band (CB) radio equipment

  • Land Mobile Radio Equipment

  • Aeronautical Mobile Radio Equipment

  • Fixed Link Equipment

  • Industrial, scientific & medical (ISM) equipment

  • 2.3GHz digital multipoint radio equipment

Radio, telecommunications, and ISM equipment is classified under either the “Voluntary Certification Scheme” (VCS) or the “Compulsory Certification Scheme” (CCS).

Equipment classified under the CCS must complete type approval before it can be used or offered for sale in Hong Kong. The equipment which has been evaluated to be in compliance with the relevant technical specification may be granted a certificate by a Certification Body.

The relevant information about the certified equipment together with the certification number assigned by a CB to the equipment will be posted under the List of Certified Equipment on OFCA’s website.

Under the HKTEC Scheme, manufacturers, suppliers or dealers may affix a voluntary label prescribed by the CA to a piece of certified equipment to help the general public identify the compliance of the equipment with the relevant technical specification.

Label example (voluntary)

RoHS requirements

In response to the European Directive “The Restriction on the Use of Certain Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment”, the Hong Kong Certification Centre (HKCC) has launched a RoHS Certification Mark. This certification logo ensures that all the parts, components, and the packaging of certain products available on the market do not exceed certain hazardous level.

The format of the RoHS Certification Mark is shown below:

Categories of electrical and electronic equipment covered by the RoHS Directive include but not limited to:

  • Large household appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves, air conditioners)

  • Small household appliances (vacuum cleaners, irons, hair dryers, shavers, clocks)

  • IT and Telecommunication equipment (mainframes, personal computing, facsimile, telephone)

  • Consumer equipment (radio, television, Hi-Fi)

  • Lighting equipment (CFLs, flow pressure sodium lamps)

  • Electrical and electronic tools (drills, saws, sewing machine)

  • Toys, leisure and sports equipment (electric trains or car racing sets, hand-held video game consoles)

  • Automatic dispensers

The equipment put on the market must not contain lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE).

The information has been prepared by the GMA Consult Group team.

GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for IT, Telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. With proven expertise in worldwide regulations, compliance, certification, and conformity assessment, GMA Consult Group can help your company speed up the access to any market with almost zero efforts from your side.

Need your own guide to the world of certification and approvals? Don't hesitate to contact us via info@gma.trade.

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GMA Consult Group provides a full cycle of international type approval and global market access services for the IT, telecom and industrial electrical products in all countries throughout the world. 

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

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