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THE MAINLAND AND HONG KONG CLOSER ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP ARRANGEMENT (CEPA)

Hong Kong has become the premier trading gateway to Mainland China and is one of the largest external investors in the Mainland. CEPA, a landmark free trade pact launched in 2003, gives a wide range of Hong Kong goods and services preferential access to the Mainland market. The audiovisual services sector has benefited from CEPA, which have been able to expand their reach in the Mainland. For Chinese language filmss to be eligible for CEPA benefits, more than 50% of the principal personnel in a motion picture should be Hong Kong residents.

Since 2006, imports of Chinese language films made by Hong Kong-based production companies, which own more than 50% of the copyright of the films concerned, are exempt from quota restrictions for distribution in the Mainland. The films are subject to vetting and approval by the relevant Mainland authorities.

Under CEPA, the Cantonese versions of motion pictures produced by Hong Kong filmmakers or co-produced with the Mainland can be distributed and screened in Mainland China. Approval from the relevant authorities in the Mainland must be obtained.

For details of CEPA, please visit the website of the Trade and Industry Department at www.tid.gov.hk/english/cepa/tradeservices/audiovisual.html.

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