Registering a Foreign Vehicle in Hong Kong

Importing a car from abroad? Find out how to register it with the Hong Kong authorities...

Before deciding whether to import a car into Hong Kong, it is worth considering the following points:

  • Road users drive on the left, and applications for the registration and licensing of a left-hand drive vehicle will not be accepted except in special circumstances.  As mainland China drives on the right and systems for driving harmonisation are being considered, this may change in the future
  • Private car ownership is discouraged by the government and public transport is efficient. The costs associated with owning a car reflect the government's policy. There are also strict guidelines regarding emissions and noise levels

The overseeing authorities when importing a car are the Customs and Excise Department, the Environmental Protection Department and the Transport Department.

Before a car can be used in Hong Kong, the importer must register and licence the vehicle.

To import a vehicle, there are four steps:

  1. Approval or Exemption from the Environmental Protection Department.
  2. Vehicle Importation.
  3. Vehicle Examination.
  4. Vehicle Registration and Licensing.

Approval or Exemption from the Environmental Protection Department

It is necessary to prove that the vehicle to be imported is fully compliant with the emission standards in the Air Pollution Control regulations. Proof of emissions compliance may take the form of documents issued by the vehicle manufacturer or an emission testing report issued by an approved test laboratory. The application form should be submitted to the Environmental Protection Department for approval with all original supporting documents.

Environment Protection Department Branch Offices:

  • Southorn Centre Office
    At
    : 28/F, Southorn Centre, 130 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
    Tel: 2573 7746
  • Kowloon Office
    At
    : 8/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon
    Tel: 2402 5200

Enquiries about approved test laboratories, emission standards and exemption criteria can be made to the Environmental Protection Department at following telephone numbers:

  • Exhaust emission: Tel: 2877 0448
  • Noise emission: Tel: 2411 9665

Vehicle Importation

Upon approval from the Environmental Protection Department, the applicant may arrange to import the vehicle from overseas to Hong Kong. Imported vehicles are not subject to Customs Tax; however, the importer must send an import declaration to the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) within 14 days of the importation of vehicle.

  • Customs and Excise Department
    At
    : 11/F, North Point Government Offices, 333 Java Road, North Point, Hong Kong
    Tel: 2231 4391
    Fax: 2598 4975

Within 30 days of the vehicle's importation, Import Return Form No. CED336 and Declaration Form No. CED336A should be submitted to the Motor Vehicles Valuation Group of the C&ED for valuation of the taxable value of the vehicle.

Note: It is an offence not to file the import return form within 30 days of the vehicle's importation; the offence is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

Following the submission of the import return, the Customs and Excise Department will issue a "Notification of Motor Vehicle Provisional Taxable Value". The notification should be produced upon the vehicle's first registration with the Transport Department.

Vehicle Examination

It is necessary to take private cars to the To Kwa Wan Vehicle Examination Centre for inspection. Either the original certificate or the original letter of exemption will be necessary to prove that the car has complied with the vehicle emissions standard. The vehicle examination is subject to a fee. If it vehicle passes the examination, a Certificate of Roadworthiness will be issued by the Examination Centre.

Vehicle Registration and Licensing

When applying for the vehicle's first registration, a completed  copy of application form TD22 should be submitted to the Hong Kong Licensing Office of the Transport Department. Note: Only a double-sided photocopy of form TD22 will be accepted.

The following supporting documents are necessary:

  • purchase invoice or manufacturer invoice
  • original identity document of owner
  • valid third party risk insurance policy or cover note
  • notification of provisional taxable value of a vehicle issued by the Motor Vehicles Valuation Group of the Customs and Excise Department
  • a certificate of roadworthiness

Note: A translation provided by a Consulate must accompany any documents not in English or Chinese.

  • Hong Kong Licensing Office
    At
    : 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong
    Tel: 2804 2637
    Fax: 2804 2599

Once the documents have been verified, the following fees have to be paid:

  • first registration tax
  • registration fee
  • vehicle licence fee
  • levy to the Traffic Accident Victim Assistance Fund for the licensing of the vehicle

Registration Plates

At present, vehicle owners are allocated a vehicle registration number upon registration of a vehicle or they may get a number of their own preference through auction.

The existing numbers are of fixed patterns with not more than six characters. They are either all numbers without a prefix or with one or two letters as a prefix, followed by not more than four numbers.

Exporting a Vehicle

Under Hong Kong law, any person exporting a registered vehicle from Hong Kong should notify the Commissioner for Transport in writing within 15 days at the following address, and should enclose copies of its registration documents:

  • Licensing Division, Transport Department
    At
    : 3/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Hong Kong
    Tel: 2804 2600
    Fax: 2804 2652

Further Information