Pawnbrokers Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 166 PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To provide for the licensing of pawnbrokers and for the regulation and control of certain pawnbroking transactions; to
make certain provisions in respect of goods pawned; to provide for matters connected with or incidental to the
foregoing; and to repeal the Pawnbrokers Ordinance 1930.


[24 August 1984] L.N. 284 of 1984


(Originally 10 of 1984)

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Pawnbrokers Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation 30/06/1997


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"Commissioner" (處長) means the Commissioner of Police;
"duplicate ticket" (當票複本) means a duplicate ticket delivered under section 14;
"general book" (總登記冊) means the general book kept by a pawnbroker under section 12;
"goods" (物品) means any goods, article or other thing which may be given as security;
"licence" (牌照) means a licence granted under section 5;
"lunar month" (農曆月) means a Chinese lunar month;
"pawnbroker" (當押商) means a person carrying on business by advancing on interest, or for or in expectation of

profit, gain or reward, any sum of money on the security of goods taken by such person in pawn;
"prescribed" (訂明) means prescribed by regulations made under section 26;
"proof of identity" (身分證明文件) has the meaning assigned to it in section 17B of the Immigration Ordinance (Cap

115);
"ticket" (當票) means a ticket delivered under section 13.

Section: 3 Application of Ordinance 30/06/1997


(1) Nothing in this Ordinance shall apply to a loan by a pawnbroker of more than the sum specified in the First
Schedule or to the goods pawned as security for that loan, or to the pawnbroker or borrower in relation to that loan or
the goods so pawned.

(2) Where-
(a) 2 or more loans are made by a pawnbroker to a borrower on the security of the same goods pawned;

and
(b) the total amount of the principal outstanding on all such loans at any time exceeds the sum specified in

the First Schedule,
nothing in this Ordinance shall apply to any of such loans, or to the goods pawned as security therefor, or to the
pawnbroker or borrower in relation to any such loan or the goods so pawned.

(3) Notwithstanding anything in this Ordinance a person shall not be deemed a pawnbroker by reason only of
the fact of his paying, advancing or lending any sum of more than the sum specified in the First Schedule.

Section: 4 Pawnbrokers to obtain licence 30/06/1997


(1) No person shall carry on business as a pawnbroker except under and in accordance with a valid licence.
(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $50000 and to

imprisonment for 2 years.



Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 2


Section: 5 Licences 30/06/1997


(1) The Commissioner may, upon application made to him in the prescribed form and manner and upon
payment of the prescribed fee, grant a licence to a person to carry on business as a pawnbroker.

(2) The Commissioner shall not grant a licence unless he is satisfied-
(a) that the applicant is a fit and proper person to carry on business as a pawnbroker;
(b) that the applicant has complied with the provisions of this Ordinance and any regulations relating to

the application; and
(c) that in all the circumstances the grant of such licence is not contrary to the public interest.

(3) Every licence shall be in the prescribed form and shall authorize the person to whom it is granted to carry
on business as a pawnbroker at the premises specified therein for a period of 12 months from the date on which it is
granted.

(4) The Commissioner may, upon application made to him in the prescribed form and manner and on payment
of the prescribed fee, renew a licence, and the provisions of section 9 shall have effect in respect of any such
application to renew.

(5) Any person who makes any false or misleading statement or furnishes any false or misleading information
in connection with any application to obtain or renew a licence under this section commits an offence and is liable to a
fine of $20000 and to imprisonment for 1 year.

Section: 6 Transfer of licence and substitution of premises 30/06/1997


(1) Except as provided in this section a licence shall not be transferable.
(2) The Commissioner may, on application to him in writing by any person, and on sufficient cause being

shown to his satisfaction, permit the transfer of an existing licence until its expiration to another person, and such
transfer shall be endorsed on the licence.

(3) Where a licence is transferred under subsection (2), a reference in section 8 or 9 to a person to whom the
licence was granted shall be construed as a reference to the person to whom the licence has been transferred.

(4) Where a pawnbroker intends to transfer his business as a pawnbroker from the premises specified in his
licence to premises not so specified, he may apply to the Commissioner, in writing, to have the premises to which he
intends to transfer such business endorsed on his licence in substitution for the first-mentioned premises.

(5) The Commissioner may, in his discretion, grant an application for an endorsement under subsection (4) and
if so granted, the licence shall be endorsed accordingly.

Section: 7 Grant or transfer of licence to bodies corporate or

partnerships
30/06/1997



(1) Where a body corporate or a partnership wishes to obtain a licence under section 5 a person authorized in
that behalf shall apply as the representative of the body corporate or the partnership and, if a licence is granted by the
Commissioner, it shall be expressed to be granted to that person on behalf of the body corporate or the partnership, as
the case may be.

(2) Where a licence is transferred to a body corporate or a partnership under section 6, it shall be expressed to
be transferred to a person authorized in that behalf as the representative of the body corporate or the partnership, as the
case may be.

Section: 8 Licence conditions 30/06/1997


(1) A licence shall be subject to the prescribed conditions.
(2) Where a condition of a licence is contravened, the person to whom the licence was granted commits an

offence and is liable to a fine of $10000 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

Section: 9 Cancellation and refusal to renew 30/06/1997


The Commissioner may cancel or refuse to renew a licence at any time if-



Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 3

(a) he is satisfied that any false or misleading statement or information was made or furnished in
connection with the application to obtain or renew the licence; or

(b) the person to whom the licence was granted is convicted of an offence under this Ordinance or any
regulations made thereunder; or

(c) a condition of the licence is contravened, whether or not any person has been convicted of an offence
under section 8(2); or

(d) in his opinion the person to whom the licence was granted has ceased to be a fit and proper person to
carry on business as a pawnbroker; or

(e) in his opinion the public interest so requires.

Section: 10 Appeal and operation and effect of cancellation 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Commissioner under section 5, 6 or 9 may appeal by way of
petition to the Chief Executive within 28 days of the decision and on any such appeal the Chief Executive may
confirm, vary or reverse the decision of the Commissioner.

(2) The operation of any decision to cancel a licence under section 9, appealed against under subsection (1),
shall be suspended until the appeal has been heard and determined by the Chief Executive.

(3) The cancellation of a licence shall not affect any agreement for the loan of a sum of money on the security
of any goods pawned or other like agreement made by the pawnbroker as such, nor shall he by reason only of the
cancellation lose his lien on, or right to, any goods or goods pawned or to the loan and profit thereon, but he shall be
allowed to pursue and wind up his business in respect of goods which he has received before the cancellation.

(Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)

Section: 11 Interest on loans 30/06/1997


(1) A pawnbroker may demand and take simple interest, per lunar month, over and above the principal paid or
advanced by him upon any goods pawned with him, from the person applying to redeem those goods before
redelivering the same, at any rate not exceeding that specified in the Second Schedule.

(2) The payment of principal and interest shall be accepted by the pawnbroker in full satisfaction of all charges
for or incidental to the loan to which they relate.

(3) No agreement for the loan of a sum of money on the security of goods pawned shall be enforceable in any
case where the pawnbroker demands or takes simple interest in excess of the rate specified in the Second Schedule, or
demands or takes compound interest, or any payment other than principal and interest and in any such case-

(a) the borrower or owner of the goods shall be entitled to redeem the goods without payment of interest
or any charges for or incidental to the loan; and

(b) the pawnbroker shall be entitled to recover the amount of the loan.
(4) No pawnbroker shall in relation to any loan-

(a) demand or take simple interest in excess of the rate specified in the Second Schedule;
(b) demand or take compound interest; or
(c) demand or take any payment other than principal, interest or the prescribed sum for expenses under

section 14.
(5) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (4) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $20000 and

to imprisonment for 1 year.

Section: 12 Details of loan to be entered in general book kept by

pawnbroker
30/06/1997



(1) A pawnbroker shall keep a general book in the prescribed form and shall in respect of every loan, enter or
cause to be entered the details as specified in the form, before advancing any money on loan.

(2) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5000.




Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 4

Section: 13 Ticket to be given to borrower 30/06/1997


(1) A pawnbroker shall on the date of advancing any money on loan deliver to the borrower a ticket in the
prescribed form.

(2) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5000.

Section: 14 Delivery of duplicate ticket 30/06/1997


(1) If a ticket is lost or mislaid by or fraudulently taken or obtained from the borrower or the owner of the
goods and the goods are still unredeemed or unsold, the pawnbroker, shall, on the application of any person-

(a) producing his proof of identity and representing himself to be the borrower or the owner of the goods;
and

(b) tendering the prescribed sum for expenses; and
(c) making and leaving with the pawnbroker a statutory declaration in the prescribed form, setting forth

the circumstances of such loss,
deliver to him a duplicate of such ticket.

(2) A pawnbroker is hereby authorized to take a statutory declaration in the prescribed form for the purposes of
this section.

(3) Any person who makes a statutory declaration under this section which is false or misleading in any
material particular commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $20000 and to imprisonment for 1 year.

(4) Subject to subsection (5), any pawnbroker who, in respect of any goods which are still unredeemed or
unsold-

(a) refuses or fails to take the statutory declaration of a person who has complied with paragraphs (a) and
(b) of subsection (1); or

(b) refuses or fails to deliver a duplicate ticket to a person who has complied with paragraphs (a), (b) and
(c) of subsection (1),

commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $10000 and to imprisonment for 6 months.
(5) A pawnbroker does not commit an offence under subsection (4) if he proves that he believed with

reasonable cause that such person was not the borrower or the owner of the goods, as the case may be.

Section: 15 Redelivery of goods on production of ticket and repayment 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to section 16, upon the tender by a person of a ticket or duplicate ticket together with the full
amount then due for principal and interest within 4 lunar months from the date of advancing any money on loan, the
pawnbroker shall deliver up to that person the goods to which the ticket or duplicate ticket and the loan relate.

(2) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $10000 and
to imprisonment for 6 months.

Section: 16 Pawnbroker to withhold goods in certain circumstances 30/06/1997


(1) Notwithstanding section 15, a pawnbroker shall withhold delivery of the goods pawned where on or before
the tender to him of a ticket or a duplicate ticket under that section he has-

(a) been given notice in writing by the borrower or the owner of the goods not to deliver the same;
(b) been given notice in writing by any police officer not below the rank of sergeant that the goods have

been or are suspected to have been unlawfully pawned; or
(c) received an application in respect of the goods under section 14 from any person representing himself

to be the borrower or the owner of the goods.
(2) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5000.


Section: 17 Unredeemed goods to become the property of pawnbroker 30/06/1997


(1) Subject to this Ordinance and to any other law, goods pawned shall, upon the expiration of 4 lunar months
from the date of advancing any money on loan, become, if they are not earlier redeemed, the property of the
pawnbroker.



Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 5

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) , if before the expiration of 4 lunar months from the date of advancing any
money on loan, the borrower wishes to continue the loan, the pawnbroker shall allow him to do so on his paying the
interest then due and in any such case a new ticket shall be delivered to the borrower, a new entry shall be made in the
general book and for the purposes of section 15 and this section, the date of advancing any money on loan shall be
deemed to be the day the new ticket is delivered.

(3) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (2) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5000.

Section: 18 Information to be given by borrowers etc. 30/06/1997


(1) A person applying to a pawnbroker to pawn goods or to redeem goods pawned shall at the time of his
application provide the pawnbroker with information to the satisfaction of the pawnbroker as to-

(a) his proof of identity; and
(b) his place of residence; and
(c) if he is not the owner, the name and place of residence of the owner of the goods; and
(d) in the case of an application to redeem goods, the circumstances under which his application is made.

(2) Any person applying to pawn goods or to redeem goods pawned who provides false information under this
section commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $20000 and to imprisonment for 1 year.

Section: 19 Goods pawned without authority of owner 30/06/1997


(1) No person shall pawn goods owned by another without being duly authorized or employed by the owner of
the goods in that behalf.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $20000 and to
imprisonment for 1 year.

Section: 20 Issue of search warrant for goods pawned without

authority of owner
30/06/1997



A magistrate shall, upon written information on oath being laid before him that there are probable grounds for
believing that any goods have been pawned without the authority of their owner, issue his warrant for searching any
place where the goods may appear to him to be; and if any of the goods are discovered upon such search, the person
executing the warrant shall take them or cause them to be taken into safe keeping.

Section: 21 Prohibition on pawnbrokers when receiving goods in pawn 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


(1) No pawnbroker shall receive in pawn any goods-
(a) from any person unless he has first inspected proof of identity of the borrower; or
(b) from any person who is under the age of 17 years; or
(c) having upon them any mark or sign indicating them to be or to have been the property of the State, the

Urban Council or any other statutory body or authority. (Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)
(2) No pawnbroker shall demand or accept as security any-

(a) identity card issued under the Registration of Persons Ordinance (Cap 177), passport, warrant card, or
other document establishing the identity or nationality of the holder;

(b) bank savings or deposit account book; or
(c) photograph, whether developed or not, of the borrower or owner of the goods or of any member of the

family of the borrower or owner of the goods.
(3) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) or (2) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5000

and to imprisonment for 6 months.

Section: 22 Liability of pawnbroker in respect of loss or damage 30/06/1997


(1) A pawnbroker shall make good all loss or damage accruing to a borrower or owner of goods pawned where-



Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 6

(a) before the period for redemption thereof has elapsed the goods have by the default, neglect or
misfeasance of the pawnbroker been-
(i) stolen, lost or improperly disposed of; or
(ii) destroyed, damaged or impaired in value; or

(b) he has failed to comply with section 16.
(2) In subsection (1) "the period for redemption" (贖回期限) means, in relation to any goods pawned, the

period of 4 lunar months from the date, as determined under section 17, of advancing any money on loan on the
security of those goods.

(3) Any pawnbroker who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5000.
(Amended L.N. 162 of 1993)

(4) In any proceedings before a court or magistrate, whether or not for an offence under this section, such court
or magistrate shall allow and award to the borrower or owner of the goods an amount in satisfaction of such loss or
damage, from which shall be deducted the amount of principal and interest then due in respect of the loan to which the
goods relate.

(5) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (1) or (4) the liability of a pawnbroker for loss or damage under
this section shall not exceed, in respect of any one article pawned, the sum specified in the First Schedule.

Section: 23 Powers of court in respect of goods pawned, whether

lawfully or unlawfully
71 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Where in any proceedings before a court or magistrate-
(a) it appears that any goods have been unlawfully pawned with a pawnbroker; or
(b) a person has been convicted of an offence under this Ordinance and it appears that any goods brought

before the court or magistrate by which he is convicted in connexion with the offence have been
pawned with a pawnbroker, whether or not the pawnbroker is the person so convicted,

the court or magistrate shall dispose of the goods in the manner provided by this section.
(2) The court or magistrate may, in respect of any goods to which subsection (1) applies, of its or his own

motion or upon application-
(a) on proof of ownership of the goods, make, subject to subsection (3), an order for the delivery or non-

delivery thereof to the owner-
(i) on payment to the pawnbroker of the amount of the loan advanced by him thereon and the

interest due; or
(ii) on payment to the pawnbroker of any part of such loan or interest; or
(iii) without payment to the pawnbroker of any part of such loan or interest,
as may seem just in all the circumstances;

(b) if ownership of the goods cannot be established or where the owner cannot be found, make an order
that the goods be sold or retained in the possession of the Commissioner; or

(c) make an order that the goods be forfeited to the Government. (Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)
(3) In the making of an order under subsection (1)(a), the court or magistrate shall take into account the

conduct of the owner and of the pawnbroker and consider whether the fault or carelessness of either party has caused
or contributed to the unlawful pawning of the goods and shall as regards the apportionment between them of any loss
or damage-

(a) in the case where the court or magistrate finds-
(i) that no fault or carelessness in their conduct; or
(ii) that equal fault or carelessness in their conduct,
has caused or contributed to the unlawful pawning of the goods, apportion the loss or damage in equal
shares;

(b) in the case where the court or magistrate finds that the fault or carelessness in the conduct of the owner
or of the pawnbroker, as the case may be, has caused or contributed to the unlawful pawning of the
goods in the whole or in the greater part, apportion the loss or damage in such whole or greater part,
having regard to their respective shares in the responsibility for such unlawful pawning.

(4) Where any person claims ownership of the goods, no order shall be made by the court or magistrate under



Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 7

subsection (2) unless the pawnbroker and the alleged owner have been given an opportunity of being heard.
(5) Any order made by the court or magistrate under subsection (2) shall bar any civil remedy which the owner

or any other person would have had for the recovery of the goods, and the owner shall not be entitled to claim the
return of the goods except under the terms of such order.

(6) No order for the delivery, sale or forfeiture of goods shall be made under subsection (2) unless the court or
magistrate is satisfied that the goods will not be required as an exhibit in any proceedings.

(7) Where under subsection (2)(b) a court or magistrate orders the sale or retention of goods, and no person
commences proceedings to establish his ownership of or entitlement to the goods, or the proceeds of sale thereof,
within 6 months from the date such order is made, the goods or the proceeds of sale shall become the property of the
Government. (Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)

(8) An order made under subsection (2), other than an order for retention of goods, shall not be carried out until
the period allowed for making an appeal against the order has expired, or where such an appeal is duly made, until the
appeal has been finally determined or abandoned.

(9) In this section "owner" (擁有人) includes-
(a) any person having ownership of goods at the time of pawning;
(b) any person having ownership of goods pawned without his authorization; and
(c) any person from whom the pawner obtained the goods by fraudulent, unlawful or illegal means.


Section: 24 Powers of entry and inspection 30/06/1997


(1) A police officer of the rank of sergeant or above or any person authorized in writing by the Commissioner
in that behalf may on production of his authority (if required)-

(a) enter and inspect at any reasonable time any premises-
(i) specified in a licence; or
(ii) which are reasonably suspected by him to be premises where the business of pawnbroking is

carried on ;
(b) require the production of, inspect or examine any goods, documents or records on the premises;
(c) take copies of any such documents or records; and
(d) make such inquiries from any person on the premises in relation to such goods, documents or records

as he thinks fit.
(2) Any person who in connection with an inspection under subsection (1)-

(a) fails without reasonable excuse to produce any goods, documents or records referred to in that
subsection when required to do so by any police officer or person authorized under that subsection;

(b) furnishes to such police officer or person any information which is false or misleading in any material
particular; or

(c) otherwise hinders or impedes such police officer or person in the performance of his duties or the
exercise of his powers under that subsection,

commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $10000 and to imprisonment for 6 months.

Section: 25 Servant, agent etc. of pawnbroker 30/06/1997


For the purposes of this Ordinance anything done or omitted by the servant or agent of a pawnbroker in the
course of or in relation to the business of the pawnbroker shall be deemed to be done or omitted (as the case may be)
by the pawnbroker; and anything by this Ordinance authorized to be done by a pawnbroker may be done by his
servant or agent.

Section: 26 Regulations 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Chief Executive in Council may by regulation provide for- (Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)
(a) the manner in which applications for licences shall be made;
(b) the form of applications for licences, licences, the general book and tickets;



Cap 166 - PAWNBROKERS ORDINANCE 8

(c) the fees payable on the grant or renewal of licences;
(d) the conditions subject to which licences are granted;
(e) limiting the number of pawnbrokers' licences that may be allowed in any area;
(f) the hours during which the business of pawnbroking may be carried on;
(g) the storage and safe custody of goods pawned; and
(h) anything that is to be or may be prescribed.

(2) Any regulation made under this section may provide that a contravention thereof shall be an offence and
may provide penalties for such offence not exceeding a fine of $10000 and imprisonment for 6 months.

Section: 27 Amendment of Schedules 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 71 of 1999 s. 3


The Chief Executive may by order amend all or any of the Schedules.
(Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)


Section: 28 (Spent) 30/06/1997




Section: 29 Existing licences 30/06/1997


(1) A licence which was granted to a pawnbroker under section 8 of the repealed Ordinance and remained in
force immediately before the commencement of this Ordinance shall continue in force after such commencement and
have effect according to its tenor as if it were a licence granted under section 5 of this Ordinance.

(2) A licence which was granted to a pawnbroker under section 8 of the repealed Ordinance and which was,
immediately before the commencement of this Ordinance, suspended, shall upon the ending of the period of
suspension after the commencement of this Ordinance continue in force and have effect according to its tenor as if it
were a licence granted under section 5 of this Ordinance.

(3) In this section "repealed Ordinance" (已廢除的條例) means the Pawnbrokers Ordinance 1930 (Cap 166
1970 Ed.) repealed by section 28.

Section: 30 Existing pawn agreements 30/06/1997


This Ordinance shall not apply to any loan made before the commencement of this Ordinance, or to any goods
pawned as security for any such loan.

Schedule: 1 MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF LOAN TO WHICH

ORDINANCE APPLIES
L.N. 1 of 2009 25/02/2009



[sections 3, 22 & 27]
(Amended L.N. 1 of 2009)


$100000

(Amended L.N. 169 of 1990; L.N. 1 of 2009)

Schedule: 2 MAXIMUM MONTHLY RATE OF SIMPLE INTEREST

THAT MAY BE DEMANDED
L.N. 1 of 2009 25/02/2009



[sections 11 & 27]
(Amended L.N. 1 of 2009)


3 1/2 per cent per lunar month

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