New Inspection Regime in Hong Kong
Following the new inspection regime set out under the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) (“CO”), the Government of HKSAR (the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) announced on 18 June 2021 that the new regulations will be implemented. In light of the growing community concern about whether personal information contained in public registers is properly protected, the Government believes it is appropriate to implement the new inspection regime under the Companies Ordinance in three phases, in order to improve personal information whilst making sure that the public can continue to inspect the register.
Phase 1: From 23 August 2021 companies can replace the usual residential addresses (‘’URAs’’) of directors with their correspondence addresses, and full identification numbers (‘’IDNs’’) of directors and secretaries of companies with their partial IDNs on their registers for the public inspection.
Phase 2: From 24 October 2022 URAs and full IDNs on the Index of Directors on the Companies Register (‘’CR’’) will be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial IDNs for public inspection. Protected Information in documents filed for registration after the start of this phase will not be made available to the public for inspection. “Specified persons” can apply to the Companies Registry for access to directors’ and other individuals’ Protected Information.
Phase 3: Data subjects from 27 December 2023 can apply to CR to protect from public inspection their Protected Information in their documents that have registered with CR and change the information with their correspondence addresses and partial IDNs. ‘’Specified persons’’ can apply for access to the CR to Withheld Information of directors and other individuals.