About the Chinese Medicine Ordinance
When was the Chinese Medicine Ordinance passed?
The Chinese Medicine Ordinance (Cap. 549 of the Laws of Hong Kong) was passed by the Legislative Council on 14 July 1999.
About the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong
The Chinese Medicine Council was set up in September 1999. Its members include Chinese medicine professionals and traders, persons from educational or scientific research institutions, lay persons and government officials appointed by the Chief Executive.
The main function of the Chinese Medicine Council is to carry out and implement the regulatory measures for Chinese medicine as stipulated in the Chinese Medicine Ordinance. Regulation of Chinese medicine practitioners includes registration, examination and discipline of Chinese medicine practitioners, whereas regulation of Chinese medicines includes licensing of Chinese medicines traders and registration of proprietary Chinese medicines.
What is the address of the Chinese Medicine Council?
The address of the Chinese Medicine Council is :
22/F Wu Chung House
213 Queen's Road East
Enquiry no. : 2121 1888
Fax no. : 2121 1898
About Regulation of Chinese medicines
The Chinese Medicine Council is responsible for implementing the regulatory measures for Chinese medicines. The regulatory measures for Chinese medicines include the licensing of wholesale dealers and retailers in Chinese herbal medicines, licensing of wholesale dealers and manufacturers in proprietary Chinese medicines as well as registration of proprietary Chinese medicines.
Currently, one should apply for an import and export licence for import of proprietary Chinese medicines. Please contact the Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office, Department of Health at 3904 9227 for enquiries. After implementation of the registration of proprietary Chinese medicines, only proprietary Chinese medicines registered with the Chinese Medicines Board of the Chinese Medicine Council are allowed to be imported.
Can one send proprietary Chinese medicines and Chinese herbal medicines to and from Hong Kong by post?
According to the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap 60, Laws of Hong Kong), the import and export, through different modes of transport, including postage, of proprietary Chinese medicines and 36 types Chinese herbal medicines (including 31 Chinese herbal medicines specified in Schedule 1 and the 5 Chinese herbal medicines specified in Schedule 2 (Flos Campsis （凌 霄 花）；processed Radix Aconiti （製 川 烏）；processed Radix Aconiti Kusnezoffii （製 草 烏）；Radix Clematidis （威 靈 仙）and Radix Gentianae （龍 膽） of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance) as listed in the Schedule 1 and 2 to the Import and Export (General) Regulations (Chapter 60, sub Leg.A), Laws of Hong Kong, are subject to licensing control. Importation / Exportation of these articles must be covered by an import/ export licence issued by the Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office of the Department of Health. The Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office will only accept application of Import or Export Licences from licensed Chinese medicines traders.
When planning to return exported pCm to Hong Kong, what should the Chinese medicines trader consider?
The application for return of goods should be made in writing by the licensed trader (applicant company) who originally applied for export licences of the said pCm. The applicant company should also provide the following information:
CMRO may request for additional documents should the need arises.
When evaluating an application for return of pCm, CMRO would conduct assessment on the potential risk to public health, based on the information provided by the applicant company; and used the assessment as the basis of the evaluation.
Once CMRO considers that he documents are in order, it will process the application of import licence of pCm (returned goods).
About Promotion materials on Chinese medicine
What promotion materials on Chinese medicine can be obtained?
The following information on Chinese medicine are available at the Department of Health:
Members of the public may obtain the publications from :
Chinese Medicine Regulatory Office
Department of Health
16/F, AIA Kowloon Tower, Landmark East, 100 How Ming Street, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Enquiry Hotline : 2319 5119
Fax. no : 2123 9566
5. About the registration of proprietary Chinese medicines
6. Application for Licence of Chinese Medicines Traders
About Other Issues
According to the Chinese Medicine Ordinance (the Ordinance), Chinese medicines traders who wish to carry on a business in the retail of Chinese herbal medicines, wholesale of Chinese herbal medicines, wholesale of proprietary Chinese medicines or manufacturing of proprietary Chinese medicines shall first apply for a licence from the Chinese Medicines Board under the Chinese Medicine Council of Hong Kong (hereinafter known as "the Chinese Medicines Board"). Pursuant to the spirit of the Ordinance and to facilitate traders to take part in Chinese medicines tradeshows, the Chinese Medicines Board has formulated the requirements concerning arrangements for Chinese medicines traders to engage in Chinese medicines tradeshows. The details are set out in "Licensing arrangements of Chinese herbal medicines tradeshow licence (For traders' reference)".
Table 1: Limits of organochlorine pesticide residues
|Chinese name||English name||Test parameters||Maximum
|1. 艾氏劑及狄氏劑||Aldrin & Dieldrin||Sum of Aldrin and Dieldrin||0.05|
|2. 氯丹||Chlordane||Sum of cis-chlordane, trans-chlordane and oxychlordane||0.05|
|3. 滴滴涕||DDT||Sum of p,p’-DDT, o,p’-DDT, p,p’-DDE and p,p’-TDE||1.0|
|5. 七氯||Heptachlor||Sum of heptachlor and heptachlor epoxide||0.05|
|7. 六六六||Hexachlorocyclohexane||Sum of α-, β- and δ-isomers||0.3|
|9. 五氯硝基苯||Quintozene||Sum of quintozene, pentachloroaniline and methyl pentachlorophenyl sulphide||1.0|
Table 2：Test parameters for organophosphate pesticides*
(*No organophosphate pesticide residues are allowed in Chinese herbal medicines)
Note 1: From 31 December 2021 onwards, the CMCHK repeals limits of pesticide residues for animal-based and mineral-based Chinese herbal medicines in the Schedules of the Ordinance.
Note 2: In general, the method of decoction is as follows:
Note 3: The consumption of Chinese herbal medicines with pesticide residues exceeding the maximum residue limits does not automatically imply a hazard to health provided that the intake of pesticides falls within the safety reference value for acceptable human daily intake.
Table 1: Limits of heavy metals and toxic elements in Chinese herbal medicines set by CMC
|Chinese name||English name||Maximum limit (intake)|
|砷||Arsenic||1 500 mcg/day|
|鎘||Cadmium||3 500 mcg/dose|
Note: In general, the method of decoction is as follows:
|Name of Chinese herbal medicine||Limits of sulphur dioxide residue|
|All Chinese herbal medicines (except for those otherwise specified and minerals)||not more than 150 mg/kg|
|1. Radix Asparagi||not more than 400 mg/kg|
|2. Radix Trichosanthis|
|3. Rhizoma Gastrodiae|
|4. Radix Achyranthis Bidentatae|
|5. Rhizoma Bletillae|
|6. Rhizoma Atractylodis Macrocephalae|
|7. Radix Paeoniae Alba|
|8. Radix Codonopsis|
|9. Radix Puerariae||For root of Pueraria thomsonii Benth (that is Puerariae Thomsonii Radix in CP2015), not more than 400 mg/kg|
|For root of Pueraria lobata (Willd.) Ohwi (that is Puerariae Lobatae Radix in CP2015), not more than 150 mg/kg|