22 Aug
New Inspection Regime - Implementation of Phase 2

In our newsletter of September 14, 2021, we briefly introduced that the Companies Registry (CR) in Hong Kong has announced the launch of the new inspection regime. The new inspection regime is designed to protect the personal data from misuse while also ensuring transparency and allowing the public to inspect the Register. Phase 1 came into operation on 23 August 2021 and Phase 2 will be implemented with effect from 24 October 2022.


Under Phase 2 of the new inspection regime, usual residential addresses (URAs) and full identification numbers (IDNs) (collectively named as “Protected Information”) on the Index of Directors on the Companies Register will be replaced with correspondence addresses and partial identification numbers for public inspection. Protected Information contained in documents filed for registration after commencement of this phase will not be provided for public inspection. “Specified persons” could apply to the Companies Registry for access to Protected Information of directors and other persons.


Correspondence addresses

The address of the company’s registered office is to be regarded as the correspondence address of a director (including a reserve director) until whichever is the earlier of the following:

  1. the date on which the company enters the director’s correspondence address in the register of directors;
  2. the first annual return date of the company on or after the commencement date of Phase

If immediately before the commencement of Phase 2:

  1. a director’s correspondence address was contained in the company’s register of directors; and
  2. the address was not the address of the company’s registered office,

the company is required to deliver to the Registrar a notice in relation to the director’s correspondence address within 15 days after the commencement of Phase 2.


Specified persons

Specified persons include:

  • data subjects and those they authorise;
  • the company's members;
  • public officers, public bodies and people or organisations who need to use protected information for executing statutory functions;
  • lawyers practising in law firms and practising accountants;
  • banks; and
  • financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions regulated under the Anti-Money Laundering & Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance.


Major changes to the specified forms

The major changes include the revision of the relevant parts to facilitate the reporting of correspondence address of directors and partial identification numbers of directors, company secretaries and other individuals. A “PI-sheet” is also added to the specified forms for reporting Protected Information of each of those individuals. Protected Information reported in the “PI-sheet” will not be made available on the Companies Register for public inspection, except for specified application to the Registrar.


What we can help

Update your company’s documents that submitted to the Companies Registry:

  1. replacing URAs of directors with correspondence addresses in Annual Return;
  2. replacing full IDNs of directors with partial IDNs of directors in Annual Return; and
  3. providing registered office address as the correspondence addresses of directors in Annual Return and specified forms.


For more information, please contact Ms. Vincy Cheung at