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Taxation and Customs Union

EU – Hong Kong Customs cooperation

The volume of trade between Hong Kong and the EU makes cooperation between their customs authorities very important to the facilitation of legitimate trade flows and the preservation of supply chain security. On 13 May 1999, the then European Community and Hong Kong, China signed an Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance in Customs Matters (CCMAA). See Official Journal L 151/21 of 18 June 1999 for the text of the agreement.

The CCMAA, which entered into force on the 1 June 1999, was the territory's first binding agreement on customs cooperation after the handover to the People's Republic of China in 1997.
What the CCMAA covers

  • It provides a legal framework to promote supply-chain security and trade facilitation
  • It also aims to improve the fight against fraud
  • Seeks to improve cooperation on the protection of intellectual property rights (IPR)

The Joint Customs Cooperation Committee (JCCC), meeting every two years since 2002, oversees the implementation of the CCMAA. Customs representatives and experts from the EU and Hong Kong discuss practical ways of working together to best implement the agreement.

On 1 July 2019 representatives of the European Union and Hong Kong Customs met to discuss the state of play and next steps of our bilateral customs cooperation. This was the eleventh meeting of the “Joint Customs Cooperation Committee” under the bilateral Customs Cooperation and Mutual Administrative Assistance Agreement signed in 1999. Discussions focused on the implementation of our Action Plan on the enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights, the possible prospects for the mutual recognition of Authorised Economic Operators, the fight against fraud and single window.

EU-Hong Kong JCCC meetings

Latest (11th) JCCC – Brussels, 1 July 2019


(9th) JCCC – Hong Kong, 22 November 2012




Chaired by Antonis Kastrissianakis, Director, DG Taxation and Customs Union, European Commission and David T. W. Fong, Assistant-Commissioner, Hong Kong Customs.


Issues discussed

  • The EU shared experiences of its supply chain security policies, particularly the EU-China Smart and Secure Trade Lanes (SSTL) Pilot Project, which is being prepared for phase III of the project; further, its air cargo security action plan.
  • The Parties exchanged information on their respective authorised economic operator (AEO) programmes and Hong Kong explained its Intermodal Transhipment Facilitation Scheme.
  • The EU stressed the importance it places on IPR enforcement and international cooperation towards this end, updating Hong Kong on its IPR action plan with China. Hong Kong further briefed the EU on its own holistic IPR enforcement strategy and the mechanisms in place for sharing information with third parties.
  • The meeting included a site visit to Antwerp Port, allowing the delegations a valuable opportunity to see the practical experiences of private business and Belgium Customs in applying the SSTL pilot project to their customs procedures.

(8th) JCCC – Hong Kong, 6 September 2010

Chaired by Richard M F Yuen, Commissioner of Hong Kong Customs, and Walter Deffaa, Director-General for Taxation and Customs Union at the European Commission.

Issues discussed

  • Supply chain security and trade facilitation – the EU delegation presented the EU's supply chain security policy. This included international matters, particularly the EU-China Smart and Secure Trade Lanes (SSTL) Pilot Project, the first phase of which had been successfully completed.
  • The Hong Kong delegation also explained their own supply chain security developments, in particular their implementation of an authorised economic operator (AEO) pilot project.
  • The EU promoted its efforts in the field of IPR enforcement, which included its IPR action plan with China. Hong Kong also presented their own actions, highlighting their establishment of a special IPR task force.
  • The meeting included a site visit to the Kwai Chung Container Terminals, allowing the delegations a valuable opportunity to see customs procedures in action.

Previous JCCC meetings:

7th JCCC – Brussels, 30 January 2008
6th JCCC – Hong Kong, 18 November 2005

Developments in Hong Kong

The current Commissioner of Hong Kong Customs and Excise is Mr Clement Cheung. Mr Cheung was appointed in September 2011.

Free Trade Agreement with EFTA

Hong Kong signed a comprehensive free trade agreement with the four members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) in 2011, covering issues such as trade facilitation and IPR enforcement.

See also:

World Customs Organisation

Hong-Kong Customs

Security cooperation between EU and non-EU countries

European External Action Service - Hong Kong

DG Trade – Hong Kong statistics

EU Commissioner Šemeta's 2010 Hong Kong visit