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Codes and references

Legal matters

Legal matters

The Buildings Ordinance and related legislation are amended as and when appropriate to reflect technological advancement and changing circumstances.

The Department enforces the law and prosecutes offenders with rigour and organises public education programmes to promote building safety and preventive maintenance.

Buildings Ordinance and related Legislation

You may refer to the electronic version of the legislation of Hong Kong, which is intended for information purposes only, in the Bilingual Laws Information System (BLIS) of the Department of Justice through the following links.

For official versions of the legislation of Hong Kong, you should refer to the loose-leaf edition of the Laws of Hong Kong and the Government Gazette.

Buildings Ordinance and the Subsidiary Regulations

Buildings Ordinance (Application to the New Territories) Ordinance, CAP 121

Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Ordinance, CAP 502

Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance, CAP 572

Legislative Amendments

Legislative Amendments in operation soon

Legislative Amendments in operation soon
Description Gazette Date
The following regulations will come into operation on 1 September 2020:
  1. Building (Minor Works) (Amendment) Regulation 2020
  2. Building (Planning) (Amendment) Regulation 2020
Press Release issued by Development Bureau on 8 May 2020 is relevant.
8 May 2020
The following regulations will come into operation on 1 February 2021:
  1. Building (Construction) Regulation
  2. Building (Administration) (Amendment) Regulation 2020
  3. Building (Ventilating Systems) (Amendment) Regulation 2020
  4. Building (Construction) Regulations (Repeal) Regulation
Press Release issued by Development Bureau on 10 January 2020 is relevant.
10 January 2020

Legislative Amendments in operation recently (5 years)

Recent Legislative Review
Description Gazette Date
Building (Standards of Sanitary Fitments, Plumbing, Drainage Works and Latrines) (Amendment) Regulation 2015 has come into operation on 14 December 2015. 9 October 2015
Building (Administration) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 2015 has come into operation on 14 December 2015. 9 October 2015

Prosecution

The Buildings Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations, Fire Safety (Commercial Premises) Ordinance and Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance provide for building safety requirements, offences and penalties. Prosecution of offenders is an integral part of our enforcement responsibility. Generally speaking, any person who commits an offence under the above ordinances or regulations may be prosecuted.

Noteworthy Cases in relation to Prosecution

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2013

2012

2010

Legitimate Expectation about Unauthorised Building Works

In some situations, owners may claim that they have a "legitimate expectation" that their unauthorised building works should not be targeted for enforcement. A typical example is the legitimate expectation arising from previous amnesty given by the government e.g. a letter from a government department stating that certain unauthorised building works can be retained. The Building Authority has sought legal advice from the Department of Justice in this regard and will adopt a prudent approach in taking enforcement action. For these cases, the Building Authority will weigh the owners’ legitimate expectation arising from the alleged amnesty against the public interest. If there is overriding public interest, enforcement action against the unauthorised building works will be taken.

Gazette Notices of the Disciplinary Boards

You may refer to the electronic version of the Gazette Notices, which is intended for information purposes only, in the Government Logistics Department website through the following links.

You are advised to verify such information by making reference to printed version of The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Gazette before acting on it.

Authorized Persons', Registered Structural Engineers' and Registered Geotechnical Engineers' Disciplinary Board's Findings and Orders
(past 3 years)

  • No Gazette Notices available at the moment.

Registered Contractors' Disciplinary Board's Findings and Orders
(past 3 years)

Registered Contractors' Disciplinary Board's Findings and Orders
Notice No. Issue Date
G.N. 1576 3 April 2020
G.N. 6162 30 September 2019
G.N. 8332 2 November 2018

Determinations of Appeal Tribunal, Buildings Ordinance

A portion of written determinations handed down by the Appeal Tribunal, Buildings Ordinance from 2004 onwards, which are intended for information purposes only, are available on the Tribunal's website through the following link.

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