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Hong Kong

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On 28 July 2020, the EU agreed to impose EU-wide measures to restrict the export of certain items to Hong Kong. The EU Council’s press release can be found here. These restricted goods include equipment or technology that could be used for internal repression, interception of internal communications or cyber surveillance. Like recent US and UK measures, the new EU export controls have been proposed in response to the recent HK National Security Law. Germany has…

On July 14, 2020, President Trump issued Executive Order 13936 on Hong Kong Normalization (the “Hong Kong Normalization EO”), which directs the suspension or elimination of special and preferential treatment for Hong Kong under a wide range of US laws, setting the stage for Hong Kong to be treated the same as mainland China. It also authorizes sanctions against persons involved in developing, adopting, or implementing China’s Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong…

UK extends China arms embargo to Hong Kong In Notice to Exporters 2020/12 (22 July 2020), the Export Control Joint Unit said: On 20 July 2020 the Foreign Secretary informed Parliament in an oral statement that the UK has taken measures, given the new National Security Law which China has imposed on the people of Hong Kong So we will extend to Hong Kong the arms embargo that we have applied to mainland China since 1989 and…

On July 14, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (“HKAA”) providing for the imposition of sanctions on foreign persons who materially contribute to the undermining of Hong Kong’s autonomy by the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and foreign financial institutions who engage in significant transactions with such foreign persons. During a press conference announcing the signing of the HKAA, President Trump also indicated that he had signed an Executive…

The US Administration has taken a series of actions in recent days to tighten US export controls for Hong Kong and to sanction Chinese government officials in response to the decision of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to impose a new national security law for Hong Kong. Most significantly, these actions put Hong Kong on a par with China with respect to license exception eligibility under the US Export Administration Regulations (EAR) by suspending all EAR…

On June 5, 2020, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) published: (1) a final rule adding nine Chinese entities to the Entity List (the “XUAR Designees”), and (2) a final rule adding twenty four entities located in China, Hong Kong, and the Cayman Islands to the Entity List (the “Military Designees”). Both sets of designations were announced by the Commerce Department on May 22, 2020 (see announcements here and here), but their designations are effective as of their…

On May 29, 2020, the president announced in a White House press conference the Administration’s determination that Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous from the People’s Republic of China (“PRC”), and that the US Government would take “strong and meaningful” steps to “begin the process” of reviewing and revoking the “full range of agreements” that currently provide Hong Kong with preferential treatment. This determination follows Secretary of State Michael Pompeo’s certification to Congress on May 27, 2020 that…

In brief The Hong Kong Trade and Industry Department (TID) recently released a new circular concerning the control of strategic commodities. Hong Kong exporters of US-origin electronics, computers, and telecommunications equipment should be clear about whether US authorization is required for any export, and ensure that all relevant authorizations and licenses are obtained prior to any shipment. Exporters relying on “License Exception CIV” will no longer be able to do so after 29 June 2020.…

On May 12, 2020, the Philippines component of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Investment Agreement (IA) between Hong Kong, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered into force. The FTA and IA entered into force between Hong Kong and Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam in 2019. According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), under the FTA, the Philippines will progressively eliminate and reduce customs duties on goods…

On November 27, 2019, President Trump signed two bills into law that increase US sanctions and export control restrictions as they relate to China. The bills, approved in response to recent political protests in Hong Kong, had near unanimous support from the US Congress. President Trump previously expressed concerns about the legislation while in the midst of negotiating a trade deal with China but ultimately signed both bills in the hopes that the “Leaders and…