News & Publications

Back to all News

Phase 3 of the New Inspection Regime: A Closer Look

Jan 30, 2024

Hong Kong’s Companies Registry has been implementing changes to promote transparency while safeguarding privacy. One of the latest developments involves the New Inspection Regime (“NIR”) for personal information maintained by the Companies Registry (“CR”). The NIR is being introduced in three phases, and we transitioned into the final stage, Phase 3, which took effect on 27 December 2023.

For an understanding of the previous Phase 2 of the NIR, please refer to our earlier article: Robertsons - Phase 2 of the Hong Kong Companies' Inspection Regime to be Launched (

Phase 3: What has changed?

Under Phase 3, data subjects may apply to the CR to withhold their “Protected Information” contained in documents filed with the CR from public inspection. The “Protected Information” includes the usual residential addresses and full identification numbers (“IDNs”) of directors, company secretaries and other individuals, such as liquidators and provisional liquidators.

It is important to note that Phase 2 did not extend protection to the Protected Information disclosed to the CR before 24 October 2022. With Phase 3 now in effect, data subjects can proactively protect their privacy by applying to the CR to replace their Protected Information with their correspondence addresses and partial IDNs. The potential data subjects include current and former directors, reserve directors, and company secretaries.

However, please note that “specified persons” retain the right to request access to the “Protected Information” from the CR, even if it has been withheld from public inspection following a data subject’s application to the CR. Under section 12(1) of the Companies (Residential Addresses and Identification Numbers) Regulation (Cap. 622N) (“Regulation”), the “specified persons” include:

(a) a data subject;
(b) a person who is authorized in writing by a data subject to obtain the information;
(c) a member of the company;
(d) a liquidator;
(e) a trustee in bankruptcy;
(f) a public officer or public body;
(g) a person specified in the Schedule to the Regulation;
(h) a solicitor or foreign lawyer;
(i) a certified public accountant (practising); and
(j) a financial institution or designated non-financial businesses and professions (DNFBP).



With the implementation of Phase 3, the CR has shown its strong commitment to both openness in business and personal privacy.

Any data subjects whose “Protected Information” have been shared in any forms filed with the CR before 24 October 2022 can now request for this information to be withheld from the public.


For more information on the Hong Kong Companies’ Inspection Regime and the related matters in Hong Kong, please contact:-
Chris Lambert | | +852 2861 8417
Min Sung | | +852 2861 8407

Disclaimer: This publication is general in nature and is not intended to constitute legal advice. You should seek professional advice before taking any action in relation to the matters dealt with in this publication.


Back to all News