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Frequently Asked Questions

 
What are "Waste Cooking Oils" (WCO)?
Why to strengthen regulation of WCO recycling?
How to define WCO collectors, processors or exporters?
Who are eligible for registration as WCO collectors, processors and exporters?
Is there any registration fee?
What are the registration requirements?
When will the application result be released?
How long is the validity period of registration?
How can registered parties submit their WCO record summaries to EPD?
Can registered parties transfer their own registration certificate to other parties?
Can registered WCO collectors hire vehicles to provide WCO collection, transportation or delivery services?
Can registered collectors outsource their WCO collection, transportation or delivery services to another party or authorize another party to provide such services?
Do property management companies (PMCs) or owners managing communal grease trap facilities need to make registration?
What should registered property managers do if they need to outsource cleansing services of communal grease trap facilities?
Can registered collectors/processors/exporters acquire WCO from parties which are not registered by EPD?
How can food premises identify EPD registered WCO collectors to hand over their WCO for recycling?

 


 

What are "Waste Cooking Oils" (WCO)?

WCO are defined as “oils" abandoned from any cooking process for human consumption other than those from household, including grease trap waste, used cooking oil and unused cooking oil abandoned for reasons such as spoilage, regardless whether they have been used for their original purposes.

 

 

Why to strengthen regulation of WCO recycling?

WCO are traded recyclables. Proper recycling of WCO can convert WCO into industrial products such as biodiesel, soap and etc., avoid environmental pollution arising from improper handling of WCO, and prevent WCO from re-entering the food chain and threatening public health.

 

 

How to define WCO collectors, processors or exporters?

EPD registers two types of WCO collectors, including regular collectors and collectors managing communal grease trap facilities. WCO parties which provide collection, removal and transportation services like the parties collecting WCO from restaurants and food factories, and WCO traders should register with EPD as regular collectors. On the other hand, property managers (including property management companies (PMCs) or owners etc.) managing communal grease trap facilities in shopping malls/commercial premises/industrial buildings should register with EPD as collectors managing communal grease trap facilities.

Parties engaging in processing WCO like biodiesel plants, operator of the Grease Trap Waste Treatment Facility at the West Kowloon Transfer Station, organizations manufacturing soaps from WCO or parties undertaking oil-water separation treatment through heating, mechanical or chemical processes to separate oil and grease from WCO should register with EPD as WCO processors.

Parties engaging in WCO export activities like the parties exporting WCO to Europe for industrial uses should register with EPD as WCO exporters.

 

 

Who are eligible for registration as WCO collectors, processors and exporters?

Any parties engaging in WCO collection/processing/export activities and fulfilling the criteria below are eligible for application for registration by EPD as WCO collectors/processors/exporters

All applicants should hold a Business Registration Certificate issued under the "Business Registration Ordinance" (Cap. 310) (unless the applicant satisfies the exemption conditions set out in the "Business Registration Ordinance");

Applicants of regular collector registration should possess proper tools for WCO collection and transportation. *;

Applicants of registration as a collector managing communal grease trap facility(ies) should be the property managers (including property management companies (PMCs) or owners etc.) of shopping malls/commercial premises/industrial buildings installed with communal grease trap facilities.

Applicants of processor registration should have already secured all applicable valid licence(s) and permit(s) issued under legislations in Hong Kong for operating the processing facility(ies) specified in the application form;

Applicants of exporter registration should provide all contractual agreement(s)/document(s) between applicant and overseas importer(s) on export of WCO and these documents should be valid at least for the coming 6 months [The agreement(s)/document(s) should: (1) specify the WCO exported will only be used for legitimate industrial uses and not for human consumption; and (2) provide detailed information including address(es), contact information (e.g. telephone/fax number, email address) of the overseas processing facility(ies)/organization(s) which will process the WCO concerned as well as the associated processing process(es) (e.g. used for biodiesel production) etc.]

 

* If applicant makes application for registration as a regular collector for the first time on or after 20 April 2018 and fulfills eligibility criteria, EPD will grant a 3-month provisional registration to the applicant. The applicant should submit to EPD at least one documentary proof of WCO having collected and delivered in the first 3 months after registration e.g. WCO collection and delivery records signed between applicant and WCO supplier(s) and recipient(s) etc. Upon receipt of the relevant documents, EPD will assess whether the applicant can fulfill registration requirements.  If yes, EPD will issue a new registration certificate to the applicant.  The registration will be valid for two years from the first date of the provisional registration. If the applicant is unable to provide the relevant documents to EPD and/or fulfill registration requirements during provisional registration period, the applicant’s provisional registration will be automatically lapsed after 3 months.

 

 

Is there any registration fee?

The registration is voluntary and free of charge.

 

 

What are the registration requirements?

Applicants should fill in the specified application form from EPD and submit copies of supporting documents as stated in Section F of the form.

Applicants should sign and affix the chop on the application form and commit to fully comply with the requirements stipulated in EPD’s “Good Practice Guide for Registered WCO Collectors (Regular Collectors)” (Chinese version only), “Good Practice Guide for Registered WCO Collectors (Managing Communal Grease Trap Facilities)” (Chinese version only), “Good Practice Guide for Registered WCO Processors” (Chinese version only), and “Good Practice Guide for Registered WCO Exporters” (Chinese version only) , submit all the required documents to EPD and cooperate with EPD (or organization(s) authorized by EPD) to conduct surveillance monitoring of applicant’s operation after registration. Applicant should also understand and accept that EPD will take necessary follow up actions (e.g. revoking applicant’s registration, etc.) if the applicant violates the requirements stipulated in the above Guides or cannot provide relevant documents to EPD after registration.

The major requirements stated in the above "Good Practice Guides" include:

a) Registered parties should only hand over their WCO to another EPD registered parties in Hong Kong;

b) Both sides of each WCO transaction should certify the WCO transaction record during every transaction;

c) Registered parties should compile summaries of WCO collection, delivery, storage, processing and export activities (as applicable);

d) Registered parties should keep the transaction records and summaries stated in item b) and c) for at least 12 months for inspection by EPD or organization(s) authorized by EPD;

e) Registered parties should ensure their operations are in full compliance with all prevailing legislations of Hong Kong.

For more details, please read the relevant "Good Practice Guides".

 

 

When will the application result be released?

In general, application result will be announced in batches within 1-2 months after a site assessment by EPD or its authorized organization(s) has been completed. EPD will issue a registration certificate with a registration number to each successful applicant. Besides, successful applicants’ information will be uploaded to Registration Lists at EPD’s website. EPD will also inform unsuccessful applicants of the outcome with justification(s) by letters.

 

 

How long is the validity period of registration?

Regular registration will be valid for 2 years (except for provisional registered collectors). If registered parties wish to maintain their registrations, they should submit an application for registration renewal at least 1 month before the end of valid period of their registrations (application form can be downloaded here).  Past performance of the registered party will be taken into account by EPD in considering the renewal application.

* If applicant makes application for registration as a regular collector for the first time on or after 20 April 2018 and fulfills eligibility criteria, EPD will grant a 3-month provisional registration to the applicant. The applicant should submit to EPD at least one documentary proof of WCO having collected and delivered in the first 3 months after registration e.g. WCO collection and delivery records signed between applicant and WCO supplier(s) and recipient(s) etc. Upon receipt of the relevant documents, EPD will assess whether the applicant can fulfill registration requirements.  If yes, EPD will issue a new registration certificate to the applicant.  The registration will be valid for two years from the first date of the provisional registration. If the applicant is unable to provide the relevant documents to EPD and/or fulfill registration requirements during provisional registration period, the applicant’s provisional registration will be automatically lapsed after 3 months.

 

 

 

How can registered parties submit their WCO record summaries to EPD?

Registered parties can submit their WCO record summaries to EPD through the following channels:

1. By e-mail to wco_admscheme@epd.gov.hk (Registered parties should adopt proper measures to encrypt their e-mail messages and protect privacy of their messages during transmission) ; 

2. By post or in person to the following address: Waste Reduction and Recycling Section (4), Environmental Protection Department, 5/F, Centre Parc, 11 Sheung Yuet Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

The data in the summaries will be used by EPD for (i) assessment of compliance of registered parties' operations with the requirements given in "Good Practice Guides", (ii) internal uses (including but not limited to research and statistical purposes) and (iii) handling activities relating to waste management matters.   The data may also be disclosed to organization(s) authorized by EPD or other Government bureaux, departments for the above purposes. 

 

 

Can registered parties transfer their own registration certificate to other parties?

Registered parties are prohibited from transferring original copies and certified true copies of their registration certificates to other parties/persons. Registered parties should properly keep their registration certificates (e.g. storing inside a sealed plastic package), to ensure the certificates would not be crumpled or soiled when they collect and receive WCO. Besides, registered parties should develop and implement a rigorous system to ensure original copies and certified true copies of their registration certificates would not be kept/used by non-designated staff or other persons. Registered parties are also not permitted to use certificates of other registered parties to conduct WCO businesses. If they violate the above requirements, EPD will take necessary follow up actions in accordance with the relevant "Good Practice Guide" once the violation is confirmed.

If registered parties found their registration certificates lost, they should notify EPD as soon as possible, and report the case to the Police as per the individual situations.

After the expiry of registration, registered parties should return their registration certificates to EPD and should not use the invalid EPD registration status to conduct WCO activities.

 

 

Can registered WCO collectors hire vehicles to provide WCO collection, transportation or delivery services?

If a WCO collector wishes to hire vehicles to conduct its WCO businesses, it should arrange at least one of its employed staff to monitor the whole WCO collection, transportation and delivery processes. The staff shall carry an original copy of the collector's registration certificate issued by EPD or a certified true copy thereof and a valid staff employment card, to facilitate identification of his/her registered identity by the frontline staff of the other side of the WCO transaction, and to ensure that the WCO will not be handed over to the parties not registered by EPD.

 

 

Can registered collectors outsource their WCO collection, transportation or delivery services to another party or authorize another party to provide such services?

To ensure WCO would not be channeled to improper outlets, WCO collectors registered by EPD should conduct WCO collection, transportation and delivery businesses on their own in compliance with the "Good Practice Guide" issued by EPD. If collectors need to seek assistance from other collectors to collect, transport or deliver WCO due to temporary operational needs, they should only outsource such services to an EPD registered collector or authorize an EPD registered collector to provide such services.

 

 

Do property management companies (PMCs) or owners managing communal grease trap facilities need to make registration?

EPD welcomes property managers (including property management companies (PMCs) or owners etc.) which manage communal grease trap facilities in shopping malls, commercial premises and industrial buildings to apply for registration by EPD as WCO collectors.

 

 

What should registered property managers do if they need to outsource cleansing services of communal grease trap facilities?

Registered property managers should only outsource cleansing services of communal grease trap facilities to EPD's registered WCO collectors, if the grease trap waste is to be removed by the outsourced service providers. If the outsourced service providers are not directly responsible for removing the concerned grease trap waste, registered property managers should enter into written contracts with the outsourced service providers and state clearly in the contracts that the concerned service providers should ensure the grease trap waste is removed by an EPD registered WCO collector. Registered property managers should also take necessary measures (please see the "Good Practice Guide") to ensure their grease trap waste is not taken away by a collector who has not been registered by EPD.

 

 

 

Can registered collectors/processors/exporters acquire WCO from parties which are not registered by EPD?

WCO are traded recyclables. To ensure WCO are properly recycled instead of re-entering food chain or polluting the environment, EPD registered WCO collectors/processors/exporters are allowed to acquire WCO from other sources including import or parties not registered by EPD. All registered parties, however, should only hand over their WCO to another EPD registered parties in Hong Kong to ensure WCO is recycled for legitimate industrial use and not used for human consumption.

 

 

How can food premises identify EPD registered WCO collectors to hand over their WCO for recycling?

To facilitate food premises to identify EPD registered WCO collectors, EPD will issue a registration certificate to registered parties and upload their names, contact details, registration numbers and service areas to Registration Lists at EPD's website for reference by food premises. Food premises may also make reference to the proposed measures of identifying registered WCO collectors stated in "Good Practice Guide for Registered WCO Collectors (Regular Collectors)" (Chinese version only).  

EPD will monitor the operation of registered parties closely. If registered parties violate the requirements stipulated in the "Good Practice Guides", EPD will take necessary follow up actions (e.g. revoking their registrations etc.).  EPD will notify the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department about the updated list of registered collectors in a timely manner.

 
 
 
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