Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
BFAC welcomes Government's continued efforts in business facilitation

     The following is issued on behalf of the Business Facilitation Advisory Committee Secretariat:

     The Business Facilitation Advisory Committee held its 29th meeting today (July 20). The Government briefed the committee on the key findings and recommendations of the Business Impact Assessment study on the new producer responsibility scheme on glass beverage containers and the implementation details of the revised code of practice on energy labelling of products under the mandatory energy efficiency labelling scheme.

     The committee also reviewed the work of its three task forces. Some notable progress/developments are:

(a) The Competition Commission briefed the Wholesale and Retail Task Force (WRTF) on the implementation progress of the Competition Ordinance. The WRTF appreciates the Commission's clarification of its concerns. For example, if the restrictions in a franchise agreement are just typical ones, the pro-competitive efficiencies will usually outweigh the anti-competitive features and should not be a concern;

(b) To follow up on the concern raised by the trade at a previous WRTF meeting regarding the application for change of the tablet coating material of proprietary Chinese medicine (pCm), the Chinese Medicines Board (CMB) of the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong recently announced enhanced measures in the application process subject to certain conditions without compromising the protection of public health. Only the general stability test report of pCm at year 0 is required for submission of the application for change of the coating material, while the reports for the remaining years can be produced when applying for formal registration or renewal registration. The WRTF welcomes the approach taken by the CMB;

(c) The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) and the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) have consulted the Food Business and Related Services Task Force (FRSTF) on the proposed regulatory control on the disposal of waste cooking oil (WCO) from licensed food premises. In general, the FRSTF supports the proposal but is concerned about the availability of enough registered WCO collectors. The FRSTF also requests the Government to take into account the practice of restaurant chains arranging in-house, centralised collection of WCO from their individual premises when drawing up the implementation details of the proposal;

(d) The FRSTF welcomes the business facilitation measures introduced through the amendments to the Dutiable Commodities (Liquor) Regulations (Cap. 109B). With effect from August 3, 2015, the maximum validity period of a liquor licence will be extended from one year to two years. On facilitation for electronic submission of liquor licence applications, apart from the use of digital signatures, the use of passwords will also be allowed to verify the identity of the applicants, tentatively in early 2016;   

(e) The FRSTF is pleased to note that all 10 recommendations put forward by the Outside Seating Accommodation Working Group had been fully implemented by early July 2015. The FRSTF appreciates the implementation efforts of the departments concerned and welcomes all the improvement measures to facilitate alfresco dining operation;

(f) The Task Force on Business Liaison Groups (BLGTF) welcomes the initiative of the Home Affairs Department to launch the mobile app "Hong Kong Licensed Hotels and Guesthouses", which helps tourists search for the latest details and locations of licensed hotels, guesthouses, holiday flats and holiday camps anytime and anywhere.  The BLGTF suggests the department should further promote the app to target users; and

(g) In response to the cinema trade's concern, the FEHD  clarified that a food business licence will not be required if popcorn is prepared or processed in a hygienic manner and in a machine of a type approved by the department and operated in a proper manner. The BLGTF appreciates the clarification made by the FEHD and its subsequent efforts to upload relevant information in the form of "FAQs" at the departmental website for the trade's reference.

     The committee is pleased to note the continuous efforts of the bureaux and departments in further enhancing their business licensing services under the "Be the Smart Regulator" Programme. Major progress is highlighted below:

(a) With the launch of a full-scale electronic filing service at the Companies Registry's e-Registry, companies can now comply with their reporting obligations more efficiently. This initiative not only reduces time and compliance costs, but also enhances the updating of the Companies Register to facilitate business;

(b) The EPD has required as a licensing condition all clinical and chemical waste collection carriers to install Global Positioning System to enable real-time online tracking of the location of their vehicles or vessels. This measure reduces the drivers' incentive to conduct illegal collection or fly-tipping activities; and

(c) The Highways Department has provided an e-payment option for applicants to settle Excavation Permit and Excavation Permit Extension fees. This measure facilitates early issuance of permits and extension of permits by allowing fees to be settled online instantly.

     Papers for the committee meeting will be available at: for public access.

Ends/Monday, July 20, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:57


Print this page