SFC opens registration for mainland travel scheme

The securities watchdog said on Monday evening that Hong Kong corporations would have until Friday to pre-register for a scheme allowing quarantine-free travel to the mainland.

In a circular, the Securities and Futures Commission said each licensed corporation would be able to put forward two staff or directors who have “a regional role” and whose purpose in travelling would be to go to Guangdong province for the management of the firm’s mainland businesses.

The government has indicated that executives with interests on the mainland would be given priority when quarantine-free travel to the mainland resumes.

The SFC circular offers no details of when the scheme will take effect, but says pre-registration applications should be sent to the SFC by email by Friday.

“Subsequent pre-registrations and changes (ie substitution of a sponsored executive) should be submitted to the same email address within the first five business days of each calendar month, starting February 2022,” the circular adds.

Companies will have to submit copies of information including an executive’s Hong Kong identity card or SAR visa and their mainland travel permit, residence permit or Chinese visa, as well as supporting documents on the executives duties and business on the mainland.

If it accepts the information as accurate and complete, the SFC will hand on the executive’s details to the Financial Services and Treasury Bureau for registration as an “eligible individual” by the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer.

The executive will then be able to apply for travel to Guangdong quarantine-free.

“Pre-registration via the SFC is not a guarantee of quarantine-free travel as the scheme is subject to a daily quota administered by the OGCIO,” the SFC circular added. “Details of application for the quota will be announced by the HKSAR Government in due course.”