Legislative Council

LC Paper No. LS 175/98-99

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Legislative Council
on 21 May 1999

Legal Service Division Report on
Adaptation of Laws (No. 13) Bill 1999

Object of the Bill

To adapt certain Ordinances and their subsidiary legislation to bring them into conformity with the Basic Law and with the status of Hong Kong as a Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

LegCo Brief Reference

2. TIBCR 43/18/3 issued by the Trade & Industry Bureau in May 1999.

Date of First Reading

3. 19 May 1999.


4. This Bill adapts seven trade-related Ordinances which are listed at Annex A and a summary of the proposed amendments in the Bill is set out in Annex B. There are quite a number of terms involving export and international trade. Terms such as "overseas countries" are adapted to "places outside Hong Kong". In Regulation 2 of the Import and Export (Registration) Regulations (i.e. item 33(c) of Schedule 2), a new definition of "regional route" is added to mean a route between Hong Kong and another place in China while "international route" refers to a route between Hong Kong and a place in another country.

5. If enacted, the Bill will take retrospective effect from 1 July 1997 to ensure that there is consistency in the interpretation of all laws on and after 1 July 1997. The retrospective effect will not apply to provisions involving criminal offences or penalties.

Public Consultation

6. There has not been any public consultation on the Bill.

Consultation with the LegCo Panel

7. No consultation with any LegCo Panel on the details of the Bill has been carried out.


8. The Legal Service Division is seeking clarifications from the Administration on some drafting points, in particular, on the reason for adapting the word "Crown"to "State" in the Consumer Council Ordinance (Cap. 216) (please refer to footnote 2 of Annex B). This issue has not been discussed by previous Bills Committee and Members may decide to set up a Bills Committee to discuss this issue.


Prepared by

HO Ying-chu, Anita
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
17 May 1999

Annex A

List of Ordinances affected by the Adaptation of Laws (No. 13) Bill 1999

1.Sale of Goods Ordinance (Cap. 26)
2.Import and Export Ordinance and its subsidiary legislation (Cap. 60)
3.Consumer Council Ordinance (Cap. 216)
4.Travel Agents Ordinance (Cap. 218)
5.Protection of Trading Interests Ordinance (Cap. 471)
6.Hong Kong Trade Development Council Ordinance (Cap. 1114)
7.Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance (Cap. 1115)

Annex B

Adaptation of Laws (No. 13) Bill 1999
Summary of the proposed amendments


1. The adaptation of the word "Crown" in sections 13(3) and section 27(6) of the Import and Export Ordinance (i.e. items 12, 20 of Schedule 2 respectively) relate mainly to forfeiture to the "Crown" whilst in Regulation 10 of Import and Export (Registration) Regulations (i.e. item 41 of Schedule 2), the word "Crown" relates to a civil debt to the Crown. The adaptation of "the Crown" to "the Government" in these contexts has been approved by the previous Bills Committees on the Adaptation of Laws.

2 In section 17 of the Consumer Council Ordinance (i.e. item 9 of Schedule 3), it states that the Consumer Council is not a servant or agent of the Crown and does not enjoy any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown. The Administration proposes to adapt the word "Crown" to "State". The Legal Service Division has requested the Administration to explain the reason for such adaptation. Please see Annex C.