Hong Kong Corporate Inspection Regime Enters Third Phase

Published date11 March 2024
Subject MatterCorporate/Commercial Law, Privacy, Corporate and Company Law, Data Protection
Law FirmMaples Group
AuthorEliza Chung and Charlie Sparrow

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The third phase of Hong Kong's Corporate Inspection Regime has now come into effect, which allows directors and other relevant individuals to make an application to withhold their protected personal information from public inspection.

This latest phase of the Inspection Regime commenced on 27 December 2023, having been initially introduced in 2021 amid concern over the need to protect personal data, in particular the ease in which personal information of directors and company secretaries can be obtained from the Companies Register.

PROTECTION OF PERSONAL INFORMATION

The new Inspection Regime under the Companies Ordinance (Cap 622) applies to Hong Kong incorporated companies and registered non-Hong Kong companies, with the aim of enhancing protection of sensitive information while maintaining transparency. Under the previous regulations, the director or representative's residential address and full identification number was publicly accessible. Under the new regime, this protected information can be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial ID numbers.

After the initial phase allowed these details to be replaced by companies on their own registers for public inspection, Phase 2 provided from 24 October 2022 that protected information contained in documents filed for registration is not provided for public inspection and is replaced with the correspondence addresses and partial ID numbers. Specified Persons, such as a liquidator, trustee, public officer, or other practising professional, may still apply to the Registry for access to protected information.

PHASE 3 - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

The implementation of Phase 3 now allows any director or relevant person to apply to the Registry to disallow disclosure of personal information within documents filed with the Registry before the commencement of Phase 2. The...

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