The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr. Gregory So, has announced the commencement dates for certain key provisions of the Competition Ordinance in a Competition Ordinance (Commencement) Notice published in the Hong Kong Government Gazette on 23 November 2012.

Provisions of the Ordinance broadly relating to the setting up of the Competition Commission, including its composition and the appointment of members, and allowing for the publication of substantive and procedural guidelines, will come into operation first on 18 January 2013. In due course, these guidelines will provide some much-needed certainty with regards to how the law will impact businesses in Hong Kong, and shape the compliance efforts for the business sector going forward.

Other provisions relating to the setting up of the Competition Tribunal and appointment of members as Judicial Officers will come into operation subsequently on 1 August 2013.

The establishment of the Competition Commission in January 2013 will be a significant milestone as we move toward full enforcement of the Conduct Rules, through investigations and ultimately the prosecution of cases before the Tribunal.

Mayer Brown will continue to monitor progress toward the full implementation of the Ordinance with a view to publishing detailed guidance on how the business sector can make the most of the transitional period before the central prohibitions - or Conduct Rules - in the Competition Ordinance become operative by stepping up compliance efforts.

Mayer Brown’s Asia Antitrust & Competition team members have been actively involved in discussions with the Administration and business sector regarding Hong Kong’s emerging competition regime for many years. This history and our wealth of overseas competition experience mean that we are uniquely positioned to assist your business in this new and challenging area.

For inquiries related to this Legal Update, please contact John Hickin, Hannah HaPhilip Monaghan or your usual contacts with our firm.