Application for Permit for Import and Export of Radiocommunications Transmitting Apparatus
Updated: Apr 21
Running a logistics company in Hong Kong and needing to import/export RTA?
Information on applying for the permits required for the import and export of Radiocommunications Transmitting Apparatus (“RTA”).
Pursuant to Section 9 of the Telecommunications Ordinance (Cap. 106) (the "Ordinance"), any person wishing to import into or export from Hong Kong any RTA will need to obtain an appropriate license or permit issued by the Communications Authority ("CA"), unless he holds a Radio Dealer License (unrestricted).
When importing or exporting RTAs, an import and export permit should be presented to Hong Kong Customs.
The importer/exporter must apply for an import/export license. If you are running a logistics company in Hong Kong and the documents show that your company is an importer/exporter, your company needs to apply for a license. Likewise, if the documents show that your client is an importer/exporter, your client will need to apply for a license.
Importer/Exporter is required to apply for the import/export permit. If you are running a logistics company in Hong Kong and document shows that your company is the importer/exporter, your company is required to apply for the permit. Likewise, if document shows that your client is the importer/exporter, your client is required to apply for the permit.
What is RTA?
RTA means any device or any part of any device that transmits by radio waves. Common examples of RTAs are cell phones, Wi-Fi enabled laptops and tablets, Wi-Fi routers, Bluetooth devices, 409 MHz walkie-talkies, etc.
The importer/exporter must apply for an import/export permit. If you are running a logistics company in Hong Kong and the documents show that your company is the importer/exporter, your company needs to apply for the permit. Likewise, if the documents show that your client is the importer/exporter, your client will need to apply for the permit.
Articles in Transit and Air Transshipment Cargo
RTAs which are articles in transit or air transshipment cargo, are exempt from import/export permit requirements under sections 9A and 9B of the Ordinance.
Article in transit means any article—
(a) brought into Hong Kong solely for the purpose of taking it out of Hong Kong; and
(b) remain on board the vessel or aircraft that brought it into Hong Kong at all times
Air transshipment cargo refers to the transshipment cargo that is imported and consigned for export on the plane, and the cargo stays in the cargo transshipment area of Hong Kong International Airport during the import and export period.
For other types of transshipment cargo, the permit/permit requirement for RTA import and export is superseded by the transshipment notification arrangements set out in section 9C of the Ordinance. This notification arrangement provides a streamlined procedure for obtaining an import/re-export license to facilitate importers/exporters or freight forwarders transporting RTAs brought into Hong Kong solely for re-export from Hong Kong.
Transshipment cargo means cargo that is imported into Hong Kong solely for re-export to territories outside of Hong Kong. The cargo may be imported and re-exported with different means of transportation, e.g. the cargo is brought into Hong Kong in an aircraft and re-exported in a vehicle.
Personal Radio Communication Equipment
Pursuant to section 7 of the Telecommunications (Telecommunications Apparatus) (Exemption from Licensing) Order (the "Exemption Order"), any person who imports into Hong Kong or exports from Hong Kong any radiocommunications apparatus exempted from licensing shall also be exempted from section 9 of the Ordinance if the device is imported or exported for the person's reasonable personal use and in quantities proportionate to that use. Some general examples are cell phones, satellite phones, laptops and tablets with Wi-Fi capabilities, WLAN and Bluetooth devices, etc.
The import or export of the following radio communication transmitting equipment is prohibited except in the course of manufacture for export or import for re-export or with the written consent of CA:
a) Any cordless telephone not exempt from the Exemption Order, such as Personal Handy Phone System (“PHS”) radio communication equipment, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (“DECT”) cordless telephones not operating in the 1880-1900 MHz range, etc.,
b) Any Citizen Band radio that is not type CA-approved; and
c) Any radio jammers.
How to Apply
Office of the Communications Authority
Applications for import permits and export permits shall be submitted to the Office of the Communications Authority (“OFCA”) prior to RTA import or export. The application form can be obtained from OFCA or downloaded from the website of OFCA.
Trade Single Window
Alternatively, applications can be submitted through the Trade Single Window. Before submitting the application, the applicant must first register in the Trade Single Window System and subscribe to the documents of "Import Permit for Radiocommunications Transmitting Equipment" and/or "Export Permit for Radiocommunications Transmitting Apparatus".
The fee for issuing an import permit is HK$150 and the fee for issuing an export permit is also HK$150. Each permit is valid for one shipment of RTAs only.
Applications submitted to OFCA can be paid in cash, EPS, cheque or PPS (Payment by Phone Service). If paying by cheque, please make the cheque payable to "Office of the Communications Authority" and cross it. Permits will be issued immediately upon acceptance of cash or EPS payment. If payment is made by cheque or PPS, the permit will be issued on the third working day after payment. Payment methods:
(a) In person at the Licensing Office of OFCA, you can pay by cash, EPS or crossed cheque.
(b) If you submit your application by post, fax or email, you can mail a crossed cheque to the Licensing Office of OFCA.
(c) If you submit the application online through the online licensing services of OFCA website, you can mail a crossed cheque to the Licensing Office of OFCA or use PPS to pay the designated bill number. Once submitted online, a billing number (Application Reference Number) will be displayed and emailed to you.
(d) Overseas applicants can also send money by wire transfer. In addition to the permit issuance fee, the additional cost of remittance shall be borne by the applicant.
For applications through the Trade Single Window, online payment must be made by credit card.
Are you running a logistics company in Hong Kong and need to apply for an import and export permit to import and export RTA? For any enquiries, please contact us.