Pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622) (“CO”) concerning the New Inspection Regime, companies may withhold from public inspection the Protected Information on the Registers of the company and the record maintained by the Companies Registry (“CR”).
The New Inspection Regime is implemented in three phases. Details of the phased implementation are as follows:-
From 23 August 2021, companies may withhold from public inspection the usual residential addresses (“URAs”) of directors and full identification numbers (“IDNs”) (collectively, “Protected Information”) of directors and company secretaries as contained in their Registers of Directors and Secretaries.
For the above purpose, the URAs could be replaced by a correspondence address and full IDNs could be replaced by partial IDNs. The Register of Directors is required to contain a correspondence address of its director who is a natural person and such address must not be a P.O. box number.
Note: Not a mandatory requirement and not applicable to non-Hong Kong companies.
From 24 October 2022, Protected Information on the Index of Directors maintained by the CR will be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial IDNs for public inspection.
Protected Information contained in documents filed for registration with the CR after 24 October 2022 will not be provided for public inspection*.
CR has revised 26 specified forms which pertain to the reporting of the above protected personal information for use starting from the Commencement Date of phase 2.
From 27 December 2023, Data Subjects could apply to the CR for protecting from public inspection*. their Protected Information contained in documents registered with the CR (“Withheld Information”), and replace such information with their correspondence addresses and partial IDNs.
- “Specified persons” could apply to the CR for access to Protected Information of directors and other persons.
For more information on the External Circulars, frequently asked questions, information pamphlets etc. in relation to the New Inspection Regime, please refer to https://www.cr.gov.hk/en/legislation/nir/overview.htm.
Implementation of Phase 2
- To enter correspondence address of natural person director(s) into the register of directors kept by local company
- To deliver a Form ND2B / NN7 for registration after the commencement of Phase 2 if an address other than the address of registered office of a local company / the address of the principal place of business in Hong Kong will be used as a natural person director’s correspondence address。