Mainland and Hong Kong on Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement

1. CEPA

Following the signing of the main text of the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement ("CEPA") on 29 June 2003, the Government of HKSAR and the Central People's Government ("CPG") signed the six Annexes to CEPA on 29 September 2003. Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Annex 4 of CEPA which came into effect since 1 January 2004.

Please click herepdf file format for the qualifying criteria of "Hong Kong law firm" under Annex 5 of CEPA.


2. Supplement to CEPA

Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement to CEPA which was signed on 27 October 2004 and came into effect since 1 January 2005.


3. Supplement II to CEPA

Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement II to CEPA which was signed on 18 October 2005 and came into effect since 1 January 2006.


4. Supplement III to CEPA

Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement III to CEPA which was signed on 27 June 2006 and came into effect since 1 January 2007.


5. Supplement IV to CEPA

Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement IV to CEPA which was signed on 29 June 2007 and came into effect on 1 January 2008.


6. Supplement VI to CEPA

Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement VI to CEPA which was signed on 9 May 2009 and came into effect on 1 October 2009.


7. Supplement VIII to CEPA

Please click here pdf file formatfor the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement VIII to CEPA which was signed on 13 December 2011 and came into effect on 1 April 2012.


8. Supplement IX to CEPA

Please click here pdf file formatfor the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement IX to CEPA which was signed on 29 June 2012 and came into effect on 1 January 2013.


9. Supplement X to CEPA

Please click here pdf file formatfor the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under Supplement X to CEPA which was signed on 29 August 2013 and came into effect on 1 January 2014.


Remarks : There are no commitments on legal services under Supplement V and VII to CEPA


10. Agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on Achieving Basic Liberalization of Trade in Services in Guangdong

Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under the Agreement between the Mainland and Hong Kong on Achieving Basic Liberalization of Trade in Services in Guangdong which was signed on 18 December 2014 and came into effect on 1 March 2015.


11. Agreement on Trade in Services

Please click here pdf file format for the full text of Mainland's commitments on legal services under the Agreement on Trade in Services which was signed on 27 November 2015 and came into effect on 1 June 2016.


12. Investment Agreement

Please click here for the full text of the Investment Agreement which was signed on 28 June 2017 and will come into effect on 1 January 2018. The Investment Agreement covers admission of investments for non-services sector.


13. Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation

Please click here for the full text of the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation which was signed on 28 June 2017 and came into effect on the same date. The Agreement contains provisions on co-operations in legal services.


14. Amendment to paragraph (3) of Article 6 of Annex 3 to the Agreement on Trade in Services

Please click here pdf file format for the amendment to paragraph (3) of Article 6 of Annex 3 to the Agreement on Trade in Services regarding the removal of attestation requirement for identification documents of Hong Kong permanent residents applying for Mainland legal professional qualifications. The amendment came into effect on 1 July 2017.


15. Amendment to Table 1 of Annex 1 to the Agreement on Trade in Services

Please click here pdf file format for the amendment to Table 1 of Annex 1 to the Agreement on Trade in Services. Starting from 1 March 2019, the geographical scope of setting up of partnership associations by Hong Kong and Mainland law firms has been expanded from Guangzhou Municipality, Shenzhen Municipality and Zhuhai Municipality to the entire Mainland.


Please click Frequently Asked Questions pdf file format for frequently asked questions on legal services.

More information on CEPA is available on the Trade and Industry DepartmentsLink will open in new windowCEPA page.

For details on the laws and regulations promulgated by the Mainland relating to the implementation of the Mainland's commitments under CEPA, please refer to the webpage of theLink will open in new windowthe Trade and Industry Department (in Chinese only).

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The National Unified Legal Professional Qualification Examination (National Legal Qualification Examination, formerly known as the National Judicial Examination)

As from 1 January 2004, Hong Kong permanent residents of Chinese citizenship are allowed under CEPA to sit the National Judicial Examination (NJE, predecessor of the National Legal Qualification Examination) and to acquire the Mainland legal professional qualification. The first NJE participated by Hong Kong candidates took place in Shenzhen in September 2004. Since 2005, Hong Kong has become an examination centre for the conduct of the NJE. In addition to sitting the NJE in the Mainland, candidates from Hong Kong, as well as those from the Mainland and Taiwan, can apply to sit the examination in Hong Kong.


Starting from 2018, the National Legal Qualification Examination replaced the NJE. According to the Implementation Measures for the National Unified Legal Professional Qualification Examination, candidates from Hong Kong, as well as those from the Mainland and Taiwan, can still apply to sit the examination and take it in Hong Kong.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2008

National Judicial Examination 2008


In 2008, 126 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and 10 passed. 78.1% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 35.1% engaged in law-related professions.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2009

National Judicial Examination 2009


In 2009, 135 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and 11 passed. 74.8% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 35.2% engaged in law-related professions.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2010

National Judicial Examination 2010


In 2010, 97 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and 11 passed. 76.7% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 35% engaged in law-related professions.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2011

National Judicial Examination 2011


In 2011, 87 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and 6 passed. 74.7% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 33.7% engaged in law-related professions.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2012

National Judicial Examination 2012


In 2012, 110 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and no one passed. 66.1% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 36.3% engaged in law-related professions. 29 Hong Kong residents who took the examination in the Mainland passed.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2013

National Judicial Examination 2013


In 2013, 127 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and 6 passed. 40.6% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 27.3% engaged in law-related professions. 14 Hong Kong residents who took the examination in the Mainland passed.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2014

National Judicial Examination 2014


In 2014, 117 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and 6 passed. 68.8% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 31.2% engaged in law-related professions. In addition, 24 Hong Kong residents who took the examination outside Hong Kong passed. 23 took the examination in the Mainland and 1 took the examination in Macao.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2015

National Judicial Examination 2015


In 2015, 127 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and 9 passed. 68.1% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 27.7% engaged in law-related professions. 32 Hong Kong residents who took the examination in the Mainland passed.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2016

National Judicial Examination 2016


In 2016, 139 of the total candidates admitted to sit the National Judicial Examination in Hong Kong were Hong Kong residents and five passed. 46.5% of the total candidates were holders of a law degree and 22.29% engaged in law-related professions. 32 Hong Kong residents who took the examination in the Mainland passed.

Link will open in new window National Judicial Examination 2017

National Judicial Examination 2017


In 2017, 572 Hong Kong residents took the National Judicial Examination and 58 candidates passed the examination. 5 of them took the examination in Hong Kong and the other 53 took the examination in the Mainland.

Link will open in new window National Legal Qualification Examination 2018

National Legal Qualification Examination 2018


In 2018, 602 Hong Kong residents took the National Legal Qualification Examination and 108 candidates passed the examination. 16 of them took the examination in Hong Kong and the other 92 took the examination in the Mainland.

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