New measure of the Cooperation Agreement on the Supervision of Safety and Facilitation of Customs Clearance of Food Products Manufactured in Hong Kong Exported to the Mainland (Cooperation Agreement) will commence on 21 May 2024 (Tuesday). This agreement provides a facilitating arrangement for customs clearance for food products that meet relevant requirements, with the aim of shortening the time required for customs clearance, further enhancing the safety of local food products exported to the Mainland, facilitating trade, and promoting the development of the local food manufacturing industry.


The Environment and Ecology Bureau of the HKSAR Government and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) signed the Cooperation Agreement on 27 November last year. The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) and the GACC have formulated the operational details of the Cooperation Agreement, such as the food testing requirements. The CFS will conduct special supervision on Hong Kong-manufactured food products exported to the Mainland to ensure compliance with relevant Mainland laws, regulations, and standards in food safety, while food products subject to sampling and inspection by the Mainland Customs will be released directly after sampling without waiting for the results.


Initially cover three major categories of food


Beverages and frozen drinks (excluding alcoholic and dairy beverages)

Apple juice

Ice cream

Soft drinks

Biscuits, pastries and bread

Moon cake


Candies and chocolates (including chocolate, cocoa butter substitute chocolate and their products)


Fruit gummies


The arrangement will be available at the ports under Shenzhen Customs and Gongbei Customs. According to the Census and Statistics Department, the export volume to the Mainland of relevant categories of domestic food products in 2023 was over 51.7 million kilograms with the value of approximately $2.84 billion, which accounted for approximately 56% of the total value of all Hong Kong-manufactured food exports to the Mainland in the same year and about 11% of the total value of all domestic goods exported to the Mainland.


Local food manufacturers interested in participating must submit an application to the CFS for Advance Release Permission. Upon verifying the manufacturer's eligibility, the CFS will issue Advance Release Permission to qualified food manufacturers. The criteria include: possession of a valid food factory license issued by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD); production of food products in the licensed food factory; implementation of a food safety management system with relevant certification (such as ISO 22000 or HACCP); and adherence to the national standards and laws of Mainland China. Subsequently, the food manufacturer must apply to the CFS for a Health Certificate for Foods of Animal Origin or a Food Inspection Certificate for each batch of food products exported to the Mainland. Additionally, each shipment of food products must include a Certificate of Hong Kong Origin - CEPA.


At the initial stage of accepting applications for the Advance Release Permission, EEB will assign staff to follow up and assist companies in their applications. FHKI members who are interested in applying for the Advance Release Permission can fill in the form below. FHKI Secretariat will pass it to EEB for follow-up after receiving the application.



Please visit the links below for more details of the Advance Release Permission.

Application guidelines: https://www.cfs.gov.hk/tc_chi/export/export_fem/application_guide_advance_release_permission.html

Online application form: www.ftp.cfs.gov.hk

PPT of the new measures: https://www.cfs.gov.hk/tc_chi/export/Facilitating%20arrangements_6.5.2024.pdf

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