Hong Kong is officially CISG Contracting territory from 1 December 2022 onwards

On 1 December 2022, the People's Republic of China's "Declaration in respect of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" made on 4 May 2022 (and reported earlier here) became effective.

As a result, buyers and sellers with a place of business in Hong Kong now officially have their place of business in a CISG "Contracting State" for purposes of Art. 1(1)(a) and (b) CISG. According to Art. 100 CISG, the new status of Hong Kong under the CISG will in essence be relevant for international sales contracts concluded from 1 December 2022 onwards.

China's declaration of 4 May 2022 read as follows:

"In accordance with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People`s Republic of China ('the PRC'), the Government of the PRC decides that the Convention shall apply to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (hereinafter referred to as 'the HKSAR') of the PRC and declares that the declaration that the PRC is not bound by subparagraph (b) of paragraph (1) of article 1 of the Convention shall not apply to the HKSAR of the PRC." (Courtesy translation from the Chinese original; emphases added)

According to the declaration, the Art. 95 CISG reservation that has been in force for the PR China since its accession to the CISG in 1988 does not extend to the Hong Kong SAR, so that the Sales Convention also applies in Hong Kong courts in accordance with Art. 1(1)(b) CISG. (In courts in mainland China, the Convention only applies in accordance with Art. 1(1)(a) CISG, but not in accordance with Art. 1(1)(b) CISG.)