Import Control and Food Safety Guidelines
Guide to Application for Import Licence for Frozen Meat, Chilled Meat, Frozen Poultry and Chilled Poultry
The purpose of this guide is to provide general guidance for importers who wish to apply for an import licence for the import of frozen meat, chilled meat, frozen poultry and chilled poultry into Hong Kong.
2. The import of frozen meat, chilled meat, frozen poultry or chilled poultry requires an import licence under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60). The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department is the designated authority to issue import licences for these commodities.
3. The meat includes beef, mutton, pork, veal or lamb, and the offal of any animal from which such meat is derived. The poultry includes the carcass of a domestic fowl, duck, goose or turkey or any part of such a carcass, and any part of a bird mentioned above which is edible or used in the preparation of food.
4. Importers of frozen meat, chilled meat, frozen poultry or chilled poultry should apply for the import licence from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's Food Importer / Distributor Registration and Import Licensing Office at Room 119, 1/F, 258 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
5. Each consignment of the frozen meat, chilled meat, frozen poultry and chilled poultry is to be covered by one import licence. Application for import licence should be made by completing the Import Licence Form 3 (TRA 187) in triplicate. Licence applications must be supported by a valid health certificate issued by the recognized issuing entity of the exporting country covering the consignment or by specific approval from the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene. Upon receiving the licence application and the required document(s), the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will issue an acknowledgement slip to the applicant. The applicant is required to produce the acknowledgement slip when collecting the licence from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department. Under normal circumstances, the licence will be ready for collection after one clear working day (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays, dates of submission and issuing).
6. There is no fee to be charged on the applicant for processing the import licence. However, a fee is charged on the Import Licence Form 3.
7. The Import Licence Form 3 (TRA 187) can be purchased by the following ways -
In person at Shroff and Form Sales Counter of Trade and Industry Department at 13/F, Trade and Industry Tower, 3 Concorde Road, Kowloon City (tel. no. :(852) 2398 5325) or
Publications Sales Unit of Information Services Department at Room 626, 6/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong.
(telephone no. (852) 2537 1910); or
8. Upon the full commencement of the Food Safety Ordinance on 1 February 2012, import licence for frozen meat, chilled meat, frozen poultry and chilled poultry will only be issued to importers registered under the Registration Scheme for Food Importers and Food Distributors (the scheme) or food traders exempted under the Food Safety Ordinance (Food importers or food distributors who have already registered or have obtained a licence under other ordinances listed at Schedule 1 of the Ordinance). Hence, importing firms should first register with the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene under the Food Safety Ordinance if they intend to import meat and poultry. For more details about the scheme and the registration procedures, please read the “Guide to the Registration Scheme for Food Importers and Food Distributors” available at the designed website (www.foodsafetyord.gov.hk).
9. Any person who imports into Hong Kong in the personal baggage solely for his personal use in an amount not exceeding 15 kilograms may be exempted from the requirement of an import licence provided that the meat or poultry in question is accompanied by a valid official certificate recognized by the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene.
Validity of Licence
10. An import licence is normally valid for one shipment only and for a period of 6 weeks from the date of issue.
Delivery of Import Licence
11. When an application is approved, 2 copies (i.e. the original and duplicate) of the licence will be issued to the importer. The duplicate is retained by the importer. The owner of vessel, aircraft or vehicle engaged in the importation of the meat or poultry is required, within 14 days upon importation of the food, to deliver the original of the import licence together with the manifest to the Trade and Industry Department.
Registration of Cold Storage
12. The cold stores licensed by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department as listed in Appendix I are automatically registered as the cold storages for the imported meat and poultry. A registered importer who imports frozen/chilled meat and poultry for the purpose of his food business licensed by the Department may register his licensed food premises as cold storage for the imported meat and poultry. Details of registration of cold storage are contained in the registration form at Appendix II.
13. For enquiries, please call our Senior Health Inspector (Import/Export) Import Licensing at 2156 3040 or Health Inspector (Import/Export) Import Licensing at 2156 3041 or 2156 3042.
* The word "chilled" in this Guide refers to the pre-chilling process of food with subsequent storage at a temperature between 0 ℃ and 4 ℃ .
Centre for Food Safety
Food and Environmental Hygiene Department