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Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme Opens for Applications from 2 March 2020 at 3pm

(Hong Kong, 1 March 2020) In view of the spread of the COVID-19 worldwide, the demand for masks has surged significantly, aggravating the acute supply shortage situation in Hong Kong which largely relies on import for masks and driving up prices. The HKSAR Government has decided to launch the “Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme” (the Scheme) under the Anti-epidemic Fund, facilitating the start of local mask production as soon as possible to help address the imminent shortage as well as to build up some reserve stock. The Scheme will be open for applications from 3pm tomorrow (2 March 2020). The Hong Kong Productivity Council will administer the Scheme and serve as the Secretariat, and the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB) will be responsible for approving applications.

An applicant must be a company holding a valid Business Registration Certificate and a valid Certificate of Incorporation in Hong Kong and demonstrate the five conditions when submitting application:

  • having the production equipment in Hong Kong;
  • having the raw materials in Hong Kong;
  • having already in place or rented the production venue in Hong Kong;
  • having already in place, rented or hired a contractor to set up clean room facilities in Hong Kong; and
  • each production line being able to produce at least 500,000 masks per month.

In addition, the applicant must submit the following information and proof:

  • the capability to comply with the Level 1 standard of the latest version of American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM) F2100, ISO 13485:2016 quality management system standard, and to achieve ISO Class 8 under ISO 14644-1 for the clean room;
  • ensuring to meet the committed production output and ability to achieve it; and
  • target commencement date of mass production and detailed timetable;

Each applicant may be granted a subsidy of up to HK$3 million for setting up the first mask production line, while an additional subsidy of up to HK$2 million may be given for the second production line. The subsidy will cover the capital costs of production equipment, venue setup, clean room setup, as well as testing and standard compliance incurred. The Scheme will initially accept applications with at most two production lines. The subsidised production lines must commence mass production before 31 December 2020.

The Government will commit to a one-year order from each production line:

  • For those producing two million masks or less per month, all such masks must be sold to the Government.
  • For those producing more than two million masks per month, upon fulfilling the Government’s order of two million masks, they can sell the surplus for local consumption but shall not export them.
  • The purchase price of masks is determined by the Government based on the specified production costs of the production lines, with detailed arrangement to follow the agreements signed between the Government and the applicants.

The Scheme will provide subsidies to a maximum of 20 production lines, and will cease accepting applications on 31 December 2020 or when all quotas of the production lines are exhausted, whichever is earlier.

The applicants must submit applications to the Secretariat through the online electronic form. Upon receiving the applications, the Secretariat will perform checks and verification for each application before submitting to CEDB for approval.

The online electronic application form and other details about the Scheme have been set out in the guide to application. Companies interested in applying can visit http://u.hkpc.org/mask to download and view the details, or contact the Local Mask Production Subsidy Scheme hotline at: +852 2788 6035, or email to mask@hkpc.org.

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