HK Extends Professional Restaurants Certification System
Hong Kong/Venture/Careers

Hong Kong Introduces New Licensing System for Restaurants

Hong Kong Introduces New Licensing System for Restaurants Header Photo by Website/Unsplash

Hong Kong's Food & Environmental Hygiene Department has announced the extension of the Professional Certification System (PCS) to include general restaurant license applications, bringing greater efficiency to the licensing process. The PCS, initially introduced in March 2023, previously covered light refreshment restaurant and food factory license applicants.

With this expansion, applicants for general restaurant licenses can now benefit from streamlined application procedures and shorter processing times. The inclusion of general restaurant licenses under the PCS aims to facilitate compliance with licensing requirements and enhance operational efficiency for restaurant owners.

Under the new system, the Food & Environmental Hygiene Department can accept a Certificate of Compliance and final layout plans, provided by an authorized person or a registered structural engineer, as evidence of compliance with all health requirements. This certification allows for the issuance of a full license without the need for an on-site check initially.

After the issuance of a full license, the department's staff will conduct on-site audit checks to ensure the premises continue to comply with health requirements. If any discrepancies or false information are discovered during these checks, follow-up actions such as prosecution, license cancellation, or referral to other departments may be taken.

Although applicants can still choose to follow the traditional route of obtaining a full license through an on-site check by a department officer, the introduction of the PCS offers a license-first, inspection-later approach. This alternative option provides convenience and flexibility for restaurant owners while maintaining the necessary regulatory oversight.

The extension of the Professional Certification System to general restaurant license applications in Hong Kong marks a significant step towards improving the licensing process. By reducing administrative burdens and expediting compliance procedures, this initiative supports the growth and development of the restaurant industry in the region.

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