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All You Need to Know About Import Duty in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong continues to attract foreign investment from around the world as a freeport. Its transparent and straightforward trade system makes the city an ideal country for foreign businesses to establish a presence.

Types of Duties and Taxes

As a freeport, Hong Kong does not impose customs duties or VAT on imported goods. It only levies excise tax on selected imports, including:

  1. Liquor
  2. Tobacco
  3. Hydrocarbon oil
  4. Methyl alcohol.

Calculating Excise Tax

There are 4 dutiable commodities. Each of the goods will have a different way of calculation based on the criteria imposed.

Liquor

  1. 100% excise duty rate for alcoholic strength of more than 30% by volume.

  2. A fixed HKD 169 per litre if liquor less than 12 litres in one shipment has insufficient information.

  3. Any liquor with an alcoholic strength below 30% by volume and all types of wine regardless of alcoholic strength are also exempted from excise duty.

Tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, Chinese-prepared tobacco and other manufactured tobacco except tobacco intended for the manufacture of cigarettes)

  1. HKD 2506 for every 1000 cigarettes.

  2. HKD 3228 for every kilogramme of cigars. 

  3. HKD 615 for every kilogramme of Chinese-prepared tobacco.

  4. HKD 3036 for other manufactured tobacco except tobacco intended for manufacturing cigarettes.

A cigarette more than 90mm without any filter or mouthpiece, is treated as if each additional 90mm or portion of 90mm is a separate cigarette.

Hydrocarbon Oil

  1. HKD 6.51 for every litre of aircraft spirit.

  2. HKD 6.82 for every litre of motor spirit (leaded petrol).

  3. HKD 6.06 for every litre of motor spirit (unleaded petrol).

  4. HKD 2.89 for every litre of light diesel oil.

  5. HKD 2.89 for every ultra-low sulphur diesel.

Methyl Alcohol

  1. HKD 840 for methyl alcohol and any admixture containing methyl alcohol per hectolitre at 20 degrees Celsius. 

  2. HKD 28.10 per hectolitre for each 1%, where the alcohol strength by volume exceeds 30%.

Duties and Tax Threshold and Exemption

Except for the goods mentioned above that are subject to excise tax, all imports are exempt from duties and taxes, including customs duty and value-added tax (VAT).

Payment Method

Upon completion of duty assessment on an application for a Removal Permit for Duty-Paid Goods, the Hong Kong Customs Department will notify the permit applicant of the duty payable through a payment notification via 3 designated electronic service providers.

The permit applicant may make duty payment via:

  1. In-person at any branch of the Bank of China (Hong Kong) in cash or by cheque.

  2. Bank of China (Hong Kong) Cheque Deposit Machine.

  3. Online banking service provided by the Bank of China (Hong Kong).

  4. Mobile banking application or e-wallet that supports Government QR code bill payment to scan the FPS QR code printed on Payment Notification.

Are there any prohibited or restricted imports?

Goods that are prohibited or restricted from being imported into Hong Kong include:

  1. Firearms
  2. Fireworks
  3. Explosives
  4. Psychotropic substances
  5. Controlled chemicals
  6. Animals (especially endangered species)
  7. Dangerous drugs
  8. Rough Gems
  9. Certain types of food and drinks (like meat, poultry, eggs, and powdered formula)

Shipping prohibited or restricted items into Hong Kong would lead to fines or even imprisonment.

Now, you understand how shipping to Hong Kong is fairly simple due to its status as a free port. 

However, the process and documentation required remain daunting when it comes to shipping excise goods.

This can simply be solved by appointing DHL Express to handle your shipment. Having an over 50 years of customs experience, we have assisted over millions of shipment from all over the world to seamlessly get into Hong Kong. 

Create a DHL Express account to leverage on our expertise for a stress-free shipping experience.

No, Hong Kong operates as a free port and does not levy customs duty on imports into Hong Kong. 

However, dutiable goods such as liquor, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil and methyl alcohol that fit their tax criteria must adhere to Hong Kong’s excise tax. 

Your item must pay excise tax if it falls under one of the following:

  1. Liquor with an alcoholic strength of more than 30% by volume when measured at 20 degrees Celsius.

  2. Tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, Chinese prepared tobacco, and other manufactured tobacco except tobacco intended to manufacture cigarettes)

  3. Hydrocarbon oil (aircraft spirit, motor spirit, light diesel oil, ultra-low sulphur diesel)

  4. Methyl alcohol or any admixture containing alcohol

Hong Kong does not levy customs duty.  

However, Hong Kong imposes excise duty on liquor, tobacco, hydrocarbon oil and methyl alcohol.

You can calculate following the rate levies to the respective item:

Liquor

  1. 100% excise duty rate for liquor with alcoholic strength of more than 30% 
  2. A fixed HKD 169 per litre charges for liquor less than 12 litres in one shipment.

Tobacco

  1. HKD 2506 for every 1000 cigarettes, HKD 2506 is levied.
  2. HKD 3228  for every kilogramme of cigars
  3. HKD 615 for every kilogramme of Chinese-prepared tobacco.
  4. HKD 3036 for other manufactured tobacco

Cigarette more than 90mm without any filter or mouthpiece

is treated as if each additional 90 mm or portion of 90 mm is a separate cigarette.

Hydrocarbon oil

  1. HKD 6.51 for every litre of aircraft spirit

  2. HKD 6.82 for every litre of motor spirit (leaded petrol)

  3. HKD 6.06 for every litre of motor spirit (unleaded petrol)

  4. HKD 2.89  for every litre of light diesel oil, is levied.

  5. HKD 2.89 for every litre of ultra-low sulphur diesel

Methyl Alcohol

  1. HKD 840 is levied on methyl alcohol and any admixture containing methyl alcohol per hectolitre at 20 degrees Celsius. 
  2. HKD 28.10 per hectolitre is levied for each 1%, where the alcohol strength by volume exceeds 30%.

Hong Kong operates as a freeport with no customs duties.

However, imported goods could be subject to excise duty if they meet the criteria set by Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department. 

The rates of excise duty will be based on the quantities of the imported goods if excise duty is applicable.

The duties and taxes is commonly pay by the receiver.

However, both receiver and sender can opt to clear the customs payment.

Hong Kong does not impose any value-added tax (VAT) on imports