December 30, 2020

BIS Amended the EAR to Treat Hong Kong the Same as China

Holland & Knight Alert
Ronald A. Oleynik | Antonia I. Tzinova | Andrew K. McAllister | Sophie Jin

The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) on Dec. 23, 2020, amended the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) to remove Hong Kong as a separate destination listed in the EAR.1

All provisions in the EAR that provide differential and preferential treatment for exports to Hong Kong, reexports to Hong Kong and transfers (in-country) within Hong Kong of any item subject to the EAR have been removed from the EAR. From here on, Hong Kong is treated the same as China under the EAR except in a small number of exceptional cases.

This move follows a June 30, 2020, BIS announcement on its website that any license exceptions for Hong Kong under the EAR were suspended,2 and a July 14, 2020, Executive Order (E.O.) 13936, in which President Donald Trump directed relevant agencies to amend regulations implementing statutes that provide different treatment for Hong Kong as compared to China.3

Subsequently, on July 31, 2020, BIS published a notice in the Federal Register suspending the availability of all license exceptions for Hong Kong that provide differential treatment as compared to those available to China.4

For any questions about the implications of the above rules and effects on your business, please feel free to reach out to the authors.


1 Removal of Hong Kong as a Separate Destination Under the Export Administration Regulations, 85 Fed. Reg. 83,765 (Dec. 23, 2020).

2 See "Suspension of License Exceptions for Hong Kong," BIS announcement, June 30, 2020.

3 Executive Order 13936, 85 Fed. Reg. 43,413 (July 17, 2020).

4 Revision to the Export Administration Regulations: Suspension of License Exceptions for Hong Kong, 85 Fed. Reg. 45,998 (July 31, 2020).

Information contained in this alert is for the general education and knowledge of our readers. It is not designed to be, and should not be used as, the sole source of information when analyzing and resolving a legal problem, and it should not be substituted for legal advice, which relies on a specific factual analysis. Moreover, the laws of each jurisdiction are different and are constantly changing. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific questions regarding a particular fact situation, we urge you to consult the authors of this publication, your Holland & Knight representative or other competent legal counsel.

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