June 03, 2023

How changes to Hong Kong law could make life harder for North Korean companies

New legislation may put pressure on DPRK front companies in the notoriously opaque city

Establishing a company in Hong Kong is easy, and hiding the beneficial owners of such an entity is not too difficult either. An amendment to Hong Kong’s Companies Ordinance that came into effect on March 1, however, should make hiding more difficult.

The Companies (Amendment) Bill 2017, along with an amendment to Hong Kong’s existing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing law were passed to ensure, among other reasons, that Hong Kong was fulfilling its obligations to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a multilateral body focused on preventing the use of the international financial system for money laundering, terrorist financing, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.