Construction law in Hong Kong



Hong Kong construction law has its origins in English law but it has evolved and contains unique Hong Kong aspects that reflect Hong Kong court decisions and local legislation. For example, see the Buildings Ordinance.

Standard Forms of construction contract are often used in Hong Kong including:


  • the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region General Conditions of Contract for Building Works, 1999 Edition ('HK99');
  • the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region General Conditions of Contract for Civil Engineering Works, 1999 Edition ('HK99');
  • RICS 1986 Form;
  • RICS (HK Branch), HKIA and The Society of Builders Standard Form of Building Contract for use in the HKSAR, 1999 Edition ('SF99');
  • HKIA, HKIS, HKICM Standard Form of Building Contract for use in the HKSAR, 2005 Edition ('SFBC2005'); and
  • NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract, 2005 Edition ('NEC3').

With government funded projects common, use of HK99 is quite widespread. These contracts are based upon the UK Institute of Civil Engineer's standard form for construction only, from the 1960s but updated and modified. By comparison, SFBC2005 has not yet been widely adopted – it is the current version of the old SFBC1986 (itself a Hong Kong version of the 1963 Joint Contracts Tribunal form popular in England, and first published in Hong Kong in 1968). The old SFBC1986 therefore remains in use in Hong Kong, although updated by amendments.

The
NEC3 has been imported from England, where it is quite widely used. The Hong Kong Government is currently promoting the adoption of NEC3 for some significant projects and more and more industry stakeholders are welcoming the values of the NEC3 and embracing the wider usage of NEC3 in Hong Kong.

The
FIDIC Silver Book has the appeal of having been translated into Chinese (and many other languages); it is expected to be popular with Mainland Chinese contractors operating on projects located in foreign countries.

Significant players in the Hong Kong construction industry often have their own in-house form, eg Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) and Hong Kong Airport Authority. These contracts often are based on the HK Government's Standard Forms and so too have their base in old UK ICE Forms.


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