On 28 July 2020, the EU agreed to impose EU-wide measures to restrict the export of certain items to Hong Kong. The EU Council’s press release can be found here.

These restricted goods include equipment or technology that could be used for internal repression, interception of internal communications or cyber surveillance. Like recent US and UK measures, the new EU export controls have been proposed in response to the recent HK National Security Law. Germany has already stopped issuing licences for the export of military equipment and sensitive dual-use goods to Hong Kong.

Commenting on the new measures, the German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, stated that the EU intends to “treat [Hong Kong] in the same way as the rest of the People’s Republic of China”. This echoes measures from the US and UK, which have similarly equalised Hong Kong and China (for example, by expanding existing China-focused export restrictions to Hong Kong).


Sven Bates is Of Counsel for International Trade at Baker McKenzie. He has spent the majority of his career at the Firm's London office, focusing on international trade compliance, trade remedies and anti-bribery. He has also practiced in Amsterdam and has previously worked for the European Commission and the Shadow Attorney General. Sven has extensive experience in particular in the financial services sector, and has undertaken secondments at a Tier 1 UK bank and the Lloyd's insurance market.