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Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance (Chapter 1115)

Part 1
Preliminary
Section 1. Short title
2. Interpretation
 
Part 2
Establishment, constitution, incorporation
and business of the Corporation
Section 3. Establishment of Corporation
4. Official seal and authentication thereof, and instruments executed thereunder
5. Certain contracts and instruments not required to be under seal
6. Appointment of Commissioner
7. Delegation of powers by the Corporation
8. Acting Commissioner
9. Business of the Corporation
9A. Power of Corporation to enter into re-insurance agreement
9B. Guarantees
 
Part 3
Advisory Board
Section 10. Advisory Board establishment
 
Part 4
Policy of the Corporation
Section 11. Policy
12. Approval of policy in respect of certain matters
13. Extent of indemnity
 
Part 5
Powers of the Corporation
Section 14. Powers of the Corporation
15. Provident fund scheme
 
Part 6
Staff
Section 16. Appointment of officers
17. Terms and conditions of employment
 
Part 7
Finance
Section 18. Corporation indemnified
19. Capital
20. Loans
21. Bank account
22. Application of moneys
23. Maximum liability
24. Accounts
25. Auditors
26. Access by the Director of Audit
27. Exemption from taxation, stamp duties
28. Annual report
 
Part 8
Miscellaneous
Section 29. Power of Chief Executive to give directions to the Financial Secretary and the Corporation
30. Validity of insurance contracts and guarantees
31. Secrecy
32. False statements
 
Schedule 1
  Oath or Affirmation of Secrecy - Advisory Board
 
Schedule 2
  Oath or Affirmation of Secrecy
 
Section 1 : Short title

This Ordinance may be cited as the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance.

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Section 2 : Interpretation

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
Advisory Board (諮詢委員會) means the Advisory Board established by section 10;
auditors (核數師) means the auditors appointed under section 25;
Commissioner (總監) means the Commissioner of the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation appointed under section 6;
Corporation (保險局) means the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation established by section 3;
financial year (財政年度) means the period commencing on the 1 April in any year and ending on the 31 March in the year following, except that the period from the commencement of this Ordinance to 31 March 1967 shall be deemed to be a financial year;
trade with places outside Hong Kong (與香港以外地方進行的貿易) includes any transaction (including a transaction for the rendering of a service) involving a consideration in money or money's worth accruing from a person in the course of carrying on business or other activities outside Hong Kong to a person carrying on business in Hong Kong or to a company carrying on business or other activities outside Hong Kong which is directly or indirectly controlled by a company carrying on business or other activities in Hong Kong. (Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)

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Section 3 : Establishment of Corporation

(1) There is hereby established a corporation to be called the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation which shall, in that name, be a body corporate with perpetual succession and shall be capable of suing and being sued, and subject to this Ordinance of doing and suffering all such other acts and things as bodies corporate may lawfully do and suffer.
(2) The powers, functions and duties of the Corporation under this Ordinance may be exercised or performed in its name and on its behalf by the person for the time being performing the duties of the office of Commissioner.

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Section 4 : Official seal and authentication thereof, and instruments executed thereunder

(1) The Corporation shall have and may use a common seal, the affixing of which shall be authenticated by the signature of the Commissioner.
(2) Any instrument purporting to be an instrument duly executed under the seal of the Corporation shall be received in evidence and shall, unless the contrary is proved, be deemed to be an instrument so executed.

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Section 5 : Certain contracts and instruments not required to be under seal

Any contract or instrument which, if entered into or executed by a person not being a body corporate, would not be required to be under seal may be entered into, signed or executed on behalf of the Corporation by any person generally or specially authorized for that purpose by the Corporation.

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Section 6 : Appointment of Commissioner

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

1) The Chief Executive may appoint a Commissioner of the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation, who may be a public officer seconded for the purpose, on such terms and conditions as he may think fit. (Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)
(2) The appointment of any person to be the Commissioner, and the termination of his appointment, shall be notified in the Gazette.

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Section 7 : Delegation of powers by the Corporation

The Corporation may delegate any officer of the Corporation, or the person for the time being holding any office of the Corporation designated by it, to exercise such of its powers, except this power of delegation, or perform such of its functions and duties on its behalf as it may consider necessary.

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Section 8 : Acting Commissioner

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

(1) If the office of Commissioner is vacant at any time or in the event of the absence from duty of the Commissioner, the Chief Executive may appoint a person, who may be a public officer seconded for the purpose, to act as Commissioner on such terms and conditions as he may think fit.
(2) A person appointed to act as Commissioner by reason of a vacancy in the office of Commissioner shall hold office at the Chief Executive's discretion, but shall not in any event continue in office for more than 1 year from the date of his appointment.
(3) A person appointed to act as Commissioner in the event of the absence from duty of the Commissioner shall hold office during that absence, but his appointment may at any time be terminated by the Chief Executive.

(Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)

 

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Section 9 : Business of the Corporation

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

(1) The Corporation may, subject to the provisions of this Ordinance, carry on the business of insurance, being insurance under the contracts of insurance specified in subsection (2), and the business of giving guarantees under section 9B. (Amended 8 of 1974 s. 2)
(2) The contracts of insurance which the Corporation may enter into under this section are contracts of insurance with, or for the benefit of, persons carrying on business in Hong Kong, being contracts of insurance against risk of monetary loss or other monetary detriment attributable to circumstances outside the control of the person suffering the loss or detriment and resulting from failure to receive payment in connexion with, or otherwise arising out of, acts or transactions in the course of, or for the purpose of, trade with places outside Hong Kong. (Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)
(3) The Corporation shall not enter into contracts of insurance against risks that are normally insured with commercial insurers.
(4) The Corporation shall pursue a policy directed towards securing revenue sufficient to meet all its expenditure properly chargeable to revenue account.

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Section 9A : Power of Corporation to enter into re-insurance agreement

The Corporation may enter into an agreement with any person whereby such person undertakes to insure the Corporation against all or any of the liability of the Corporation under a contract of insurance entered into under section 9 either before or after the commencement of the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance 1970 (58 of 1970).

(Added 58 of 1970 s. 2)

 

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Section 9B : Guarantees
Where-
        (a) the Corporation has entered into, or proposes to enter into, a contract of insurance under section 9 with, or for the benefit of, any person; and
        (b) another person has advanced, or proposes to advance, moneys to the first-mentioned person for the purpose of financing, in whole or in part, the acts and transactions, which are the subject matter of the contract of insurance,

the Corporation may guarantee to that other person the re-payment of the whole or any part of the moneys advanced or to be advanced by him and the payment of the whole or any part of any interest or other charges that may become payable to him in respect of those moneys.

(Added 8 of 1974 s. 3)

 

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Section 10 : Advisory Board establishment
Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

(1) There is hereby established an Advisory Board to advise the Corporation in the conduct of its business under this Ordinance.
(2) The Advisory Board shall consist of-
        (a) the Commissioner of Insurance or his representative; (Amended L.N. 206 of 1977; L.N. 294 of 1982; L.N. 215 of 1984; L.N. 392 of 1990)
        (b) the Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, or his representative; and
        (c) not more than 10 other members.
(3) The members of the Advisory Board, other than the Commissioner of Insurance and the Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council- (Amended L.N. 206 of 1977; L.N. 294 of 1982; L.N. 215 of 1984; L.N. 392 of 1990)
        (a) shall be appointed by the Chief Executive for a term not exceeding 3 years at a time; and (Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)
        (b) shall upon appointment take an oath before a commissioner for oaths in the form prescribed in Schedule 1. (Amended 47 of 1997 s. 10)

(4) If a member of the Advisory Board has any pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, in any contract or proposed contract or other matter, and is present at a meeting of the Board at which the contract or other matter is the subject of consideration, he shall, as soon as practicable after the commencement of the meeting of the Board, disclose to the Board the fact and the nature of his interest.
(5) The Corporation shall not be bound by the advice of the Advisory Board.

(Amended E.R. 1 of 2013)

 

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Section 11 : Policy

The Corporation shall keep the Financial Secretary informed of the decisions of the Corporation insofar as they relate to matters of policy in relation to the conduct of its business.

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Section 12 : Approval of policy in respect of certain matters
Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

(1) The policy pursued by the Corporation with respect to any of the following matters, namely-
        (a) the classes of contracts of insurance into which the Corporation will enter;
        (b) the nature and extent of the risks that may be covered under contracts of insurance entered into by the Corporation;
        (c) the undertaking of liabilities in relation to trade with particular places; (Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)
        (d) the organization of the finances of the Corporation and the determination of the use to which any surpluses acquired by the Corporation are to be put;
        (e) the determination of the total amount of the capital and reserves required by the Corporation taking into account the sums at risk under contracts of insurance entered into by the Corporation; and
        (f) the giving of guarantees, (Added 8 of 1974 s. 4)
shall be subject to the approval of the Financial Secretary:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall prevent the Corporation, when it considers an immediate decision is required, from pursuing a policy which has not been approved by the Financial Secretary if it seeks his approval of such policy at the first available opportunity.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as-
        (a) requiring the approval of the Financial Secretary to the entering by the Corporation into a particular contract of insurance or the giving by the Corporation of a particular guarantee; or
        (b) empowering the Financial Secretary to determine that the Corporation shall or shall not enter into a particular contract of insurance or give a particular guarantee,
but the Corporation shall not enter into a particular contract of insurance or give a particular guarantee unless the contract or guarantee is in accordance with the policy approved by the Financial Secretary. (Replaced 8 of 1974 s. 4)
(3) In this section-
surplus (盈餘) means those balances which the Corporation has in hand at the end of any financial year and which are not required to meet-

    (a) payments at that time due to be made as a result of claims under examination in respect of contracts of insurance entered into by the Corporation;
    (b) payments due to be made in respect of the operating expenses of the Corporation;
    (c) provision for expenditure on capital items, on replacements of fixed assets and on amortization payments incurred by the Corporation;
    (d) such sums as in the opinion of the Corporation may be required to cover the unexpired risks on contracts of insurance entered into by the Corporation; and
    (e) any other liabilities.

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Section 13 : Extent of indemnity

(1) A contract of insurance entered into by the Corporation shall specify a percentage as the percentage of the amount of the loss, as defined in the contract, to which the indemnity under the contract extends.
(2) The maximum percentage so specified in any contract of insurance shall not exceed 90 per cent or such other maximum percentage as may be prescribed by the Legislative Council by resolution. (Amended L.N. 185 of 1975)

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Section 14 : Powers of the Corporation
Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

The Corporation may do, within Hong Kong or elsewhere, all things necessary or convenient to be done for and in connection with, or incidental to, the carrying on of its business and, in particular, may- (Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)

     

    (a) acquire, hold and dispose of immovable or movable property;
    (b) enter into any contract; and
    (c) pay to the Government out of surpluses held by the Corporation such sums as may be determined pursuant to the policy approved in this respect by the Financial Secretary under section 12(1).
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Section 15 : Provident fund scheme

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

The Corporation may, with the approval of the Chief Executive, establish, manage and control, or enter into an arrangement with an insurance company or association for the establishment, management and control by such company or association, either alone or jointly with the Corporation, of a provident fund scheme for the benefit of the Commissioner and any of the officers of the Corporation, or of any specified class of officer of the Corporation, and if so required by rules governing such scheme may make contributions thereto in accordance with such rules.

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Section 16 : Appointment of officers

Subject to the provisions of section 17, the Corporation may appoint such officers as it thinks necessary.

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Section 17 : Terms and conditions of employment

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

(1) The terms and conditions of employment of officers appointed by the Corporation shall be such as are determined by the Corporation with the approval of the Financial Secretary.
(2) The appointment by the Corporation of an officer whose annual salary is equivalent to or exceeds that of a Senior Administrative Officer in the public service shall be subject to the approval of the Chief Executive. (Amended 8 of 1974 s. 5; 5 of 1990 s. 2; 66 of 2000 s. 3)

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Section 18 : Corporation indemnified

The Government shall guarantee the payment of all moneys due by the Corporation, but nothing in this section shall authorize a creditor or other person claiming against the Corporation to sue the Government in respect of his claim.

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Section 19 : Capital

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

The Financial Secretary may pay to the Corporation from the general revenue of Hong Kong or the Development Loan Fund, in such amounts and at such times as he determines, sums of money not exceeding in the aggregate $20000000, and the capital of the Corporation shall consist of the amounts so paid to the Corporation.

(Amended 8 of 1974 s. 6; 66 of 2000 s. 3)

 

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Section 20 : Loans

(1) The Financial Secretary may, out of moneys appropriated by the Legislative Council for the purposes of this Ordinance, make advances to the Corporation of such amounts, and upon such terms and conditions with respect to repayment, payment of interest and otherwise, as the Financial Secretary may determine.
(2) The Corporation may borrow or otherwise raise money on such security as may be necessary, and, for that purpose, charge all or any part of the property of the Corporation, but without the prior approval of the Financial Secretary no sum shall be borrowed or otherwise raised under this subsection which itself or together with all other sums previously borrowed or otherwise raised under this subsection and still outstanding exceeds or in the aggregate exceed 5 per cent of the capital and reserves of the Corporation.

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Section 21 : Bank account

(1) The Corporation shall open and maintain an account with such bank as the Financial Secretary may approve.
(2) The Corporation shall pay all moneys received by it into such an account as is referred to in subsection (1).

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Section 22 : Application of moneys
(1) Save as otherwise provided by this Ordinance, the moneys of the Corporation shall be applied only-
        (a) in payment or discharge of the expenses, charges and liabilities incurred or undertaken by the corporation in the exercise of its powers or the performance of its functions and duties under this Ordinance; and
        (b) in payment of the remuneration and allowances of the Commissioner.

(2) Moneys of the Corporation not immediately required for the purposes of the Corporation may be invested on deposit with any bank or in such other manner as the Financial Secretary may direct.

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Section 23 : Maximum liability

The contingent liability of the Corporation under contracts of insurance shall not at any time exceed the sum of three hundred million dollars or such other sum as may be determined by the Legislative Council by resolution*.

Editorial Note:

*See L.N. 135 of 1967; L.N. 19 of 1969; L.N. 75 of 1971; L.N. 209 of 1973; L.N. 210 of 1974; L.N. 200 of 1977; L.N. 109 of 1980; L.N. 172 of 1982; L.N. 108 of 1984; L.N. 79 of 1985; L.N. 34 of 1988; L.N. 159 of 1989; L.N. 97 of 1991; L.N. 612 of 1997; L.N. 37 of 2002; L.N. 64 of 2006; L.N. 25 of 2009; L.N. 194 of 2012; L.N. 110 of 2017. Current amount is $55,000 millionsee L.N. 110 of 2017. 

 

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Seciton 24 : Accounts

(1) The Corporation shall keep proper accounts of all income and expenditure and shall maintain proper and adequate records thereof.
(2) As soon as may be convenient after the end of each financial year, the Corporation shall cause to be drawn up, in such form as the Financial Secretary may approve, a statement of its income and expenditure during such financial year and a statement of the assets and liabilities of the Corporation on the last day thereof.

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Section 25 : Auditors

(1) The Corporation shall with the approval of the Financial Secretary appoint auditors, who shall be entitled at any time to have access to all accounts, records and documents of the Corporation and to require such information and explanation thereon as they may think fit.
(2) The auditors shall audit the statements drawn up under section 24(2) as soon as possible and shall make a report thereon to the Corporation.

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Section 26 : Access by the Director of Audit

The Director of Audit and any public officer authorized by him shall be entitled at all reasonable times to full and free access to all accounts, records and documents of the Corporation relating directly or indirectly to the receipt or payment of moneys by the Corporation or to the acquisition custody or disposal of assets of the Corporation.

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Section 27 : Exemption from taxation, stamp duties

(1) The profits of the Corporation shall not be subject to taxation.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Stamp Duty Ordinance (Cap 117), the Corporation shall not be liable to pay stamp duty in excess of $5 in respect of any instrument or document executed by or on behalf of the Corporation. (Amended 31 of 1981 s. 65)

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Section 28 : Annual report

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

(1) The Corporation shall, within a period of 6 months, or within such longer period as the Chief Executive may determine, after the end of each financial year, furnish to the Chief Executive a report of its operations during that financial year, copies of the financial statements in respect of that year drawn up under section 24(2) and a copy of the auditors' report on those statements.
(2) The Chief Executive shall cause to be laid on the table of the Legislative Council the reports and financial statements furnished to him pursuant to subsection (1).

(Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)

 

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Section 29 : Power of Chief Executive to give directions to the Financial Secretary and the Corporation

Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 66 of 2000 s. 3

(1) The Chief Executive may give to the Financial Secretary and the Corporation such directions as he thinks fit with respect to the exercise or performance of their respective powers, functions and duties under this Ordinance, either generally or in any particular case.
(2) The Financial Secretary and the Corporation shall, in the exercise or performance of their respective powers, functions and duties under this Ordinance, comply with any directions given by the Chief Executive under subsection (1).

(Amended 66 of 2000 s. 3)

 

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Section 30 : Validity of insurance contracts and guarantees

Without prejudice to the duty of the Corporation to comply with the provisions of this Ordinance, a contract of insurance entered into, or a guarantee given, by the Corporation shall not be invalidated by reason of a contravention by the Corporation of any provision of this Ordinance.

(Amended 8 of 1974 s.7)

 

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Section 31 : Secrecy

(1) The Commissioner and such other officers of the Corporation as the Corporation may require shall, before entering on the performance of their duties, take an oath before a commissioner for oaths in the form prescribed in Schedule 2. (Amended 47 of 1997 s. 10)
(2) Any person who in the performance of his functions or duty, or in the course of his employment, under or in connection with the provisions of this Ordinance has acquired, or has access to, information relating to the affairs of any person shall not, except in performance of his functions or duty, or in the course of his employment, under or in connection with the provisions of this Ordinance, communicate or make available that information to any other person.
(3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine at level 3 and to imprisonment for 2 years.

(Amended E.R. 1 of 2013)

 

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Section 32 : False statements

Any person who wilfully makes a statement which is false or misleading in a material particular in or in connection with an application or proposal for insurance or a guarantee, or for the purposes of a claim under a contract of insurance or a guarantee, under this Ordinance shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine at level 3 and to imprisonment for 2 years.

(Amended 8 of 1974 s. 8; E.R. 1 of 2013)

 

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Schedule 1
Oath or Affirmation of Secrecy
Advisory Board

I, ..................................................................................................................................
do swear by Almighty God (or do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare) that I will not, except in the performance of my functions as a member of the Advisory Board established by the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance (Cap 1115), communicate or make available to another person any information relating to the affairs of a person coming to my knowledge, or to which I have access, as a member of the Advisory Board.

(Signed) ....................................................................

In Hong Kong this ............................................. day of ...................................................

Before me, ...........................................................................................................


Commissioner for Oaths.

(Amended 47 of 1997 s. 10)

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Schedule 2
Oath or Affirmation of Secrecy

I, .................................................................................................................................. do swear by Almighty God (or do solemnly and sincerely affirm and declare) that I will not, except in the performance of my functions or duty or in the course of my employment under or in connection with the Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation Ordinance (Cap 1115), communicate or make available to another person any information relating to the affairs of a person coming to my knowledge, or to which I have access, in the performance of my functions or duty or in the course of my employment under or in connection with the said Ordinance.
(Signed) ....................................................................

In Hong Kong this ............................................. day of ...................................................

Before me, ...........................................................................................................


Commissioner for Oaths.

(Amended 47 of 1997 s. 10)

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