Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 188 MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL
ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE

Gazette Number Version Date


Long title 30/06/1997


To make new provision, in place of the Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap 15 1964
Ed.), for facilitating the recovery of maintenance by or from persons in Hong Kong from or by other persons in
reciprocating countries.


[31 January 1979] L.N. 27 of 1979


(Originally 13 of 1977)

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Maintenance Orders (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance.

Section: 2 Interpretation 10 of 2005 08/07/2005


(1) In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"affiliation order" (親父鑑定令) means an order (however described) adjudging, finding or declaring a person to be

the father of a child, whether or not it also provides for the maintenance of the child;
"certificate of arrears" (欠款證明書), in relation to a maintenance order, means a certificate certifying that the sum

specified in the certificate is, to the best of the information or belief of the officer giving the certificate, the
amount of the arrears due under the order at the date of certificate or, as the case may be, that, to the best of his
information or belief, there are no arrears due thereunder at that date;

"certified copy" (核證副本), in relation to an order of a court, means a copy of the order certified to be a true copy by
the proper officer of the court which made the order; (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 2)

"court" (法院) includes any tribunal or person having power to make, confirm, enforce, vary or revoke a maintenance
order;

"maintenance order" (贍養令) means any of the following orders (however described)-
(a) an order (including an affiliation order or order consequent upon an affiliation order) which provides

for the periodical payment of sums of money towards the maintenance of any person, being a person
whom the person liable to make payments under the order is, according to the law applied in the place
where the order was made, liable to maintain; and

(b) an affiliation order or order consequent upon an affiliation order, being an order which provides for the
payment by a person adjudged, found or declared to be a child's father of expenses incidental to the
child's birth or, where the child has died, of his funeral expenses; and (Amended 37 of 1985 s. 6)

(c) in the case of a maintenance order which has been varied, that order as varied, but does not include a
maintenance order being, or made pursuant to, a judgement which by virtue of the Foreign Judgments
(Restriction on Recognition and Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap 46) cannot be recognized or enforced in
Hong Kong; (Added 37 of 1985 s. 6)

"payee" (受款人), in relation to a maintenance order, means the person entitled to the payments for which the order
provides;

"payer" (付款人), in relation to a maintenance order, means the person liable to make payments under the order;
"provisional order" (臨時命令) means (according to the context)-

(a) an order made by a court in Hong Kong which is provisional only and has no effect unless and until
confirmed, with or without alteration, by a competent court in a reciprocating country; or

(b) an order made by a court in a reciprocating country which is provisional only and has no effect unless
and until confirmed, with or without alteration, by a court in Hong Kong having power under this
Ordinance to confirm it; (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

"reciprocating country" (交互執行國) has the meaning assigned to it by section 3;



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 2

"registered order" (登記命令) means a maintenance order which is for the time being registered in the District Court
under this Ordinance;

"Registrar" (司法常務官) means-
(a) in relation to proceedings in the Court of First Instance, the Registrar, a Senior Deputy Registrar, a

Deputy Registrar and an Assistant Registrar of the High Court; (Amended 25 of 1998 s; 2 10 of 2005
s. 177)

(b) in relation to proceedings in the District Court, the Registrar, a Deputy Registrar and an Assistant
Registrar of the District Court; (Replaced 61 of 1981 s. 2)

"repealed Ordinance" (已廢除條例) means the Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap 15
1964 Ed.) repealed by section 21;

"responsible authority" (負責當局), in relation to a reciprocating country, means any person who in that country has
functions similar to those of the Chief Executive under this Ordinance. (Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)
(2) For the purposes of this Ordinance an order shall be taken to be a maintenance order so far (but only so far)

as it relates to the periodical payment of sums of money as mentioned in paragraph (a) of the definition of
"maintenance order" in subsection (1) or to the payment by a person adjudged, found or declared to be a child's father
of any such expenses as are mentioned in paragraph (b) of that definition.

(3) Any reference in this Ordinance to the payment of money for the maintenance of a child shall be construed
as including a reference to the payment of money for the child's education.

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 21 U.K.]

Section: 3 Orders by the Chief Executive designating reciprocating

countries
27 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1) The Chief Executive, if satisfied that, in the event of the benefits conferred by this Ordinance being applied
to, or to particular classes of, maintenance orders made by the courts of any country or place other than Hong Kong,
similar benefits will in that country or place be applied to, or to those classes of, maintenance order made by the courts
of Hong Kong, may by order designate that country or place as a reciprocating country for the purposes of this
Ordinance; and, subject to subsection (2), in this Ordinance "reciprocating country" (交互執行國) means a country
or place that is for the time being so designated.

(2) A country or place may be designated under subsection (1) as a reciprocating country either as regards
maintenance orders generally, or as regards maintenance orders other than those of any specified class, or as regards
maintenance orders of one or more specified classes only; and a country or place which is for the time being so
designated otherwise than as regards maintenance orders generally shall for the purposes of this Ordinance be taken to
be a reciprocating country only as regards maintenance orders of the class to which the designation extends.

(Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)
[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 1 U.K.]


Section: 4 Transmission of maintenance order made in Hong Kong

for enforcement in reciprocating country
27 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Subject to subsection (2), where the payer under a maintenance order made, whether before or after the
commencement of this Ordinance, by a court in Hong Kong is residing in a reciprocating country, the payee under the
order may apply for the order to be sent to that reciprocating country for enforcement. (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6; 27
of 1999 s. 3)

(2) Subsection (1) shall not have effect in relation to a provisional order.
(3) Every application under this section shall be made in the prescribed manner to the Registrar of the court

which made the order. (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)
(4) If, on an application duly made under this section to the Registrar, the Registrar is satisfied that the payer



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 3

under the maintenance order to which the application relates is residing in a reciprocating country, the following
documents-

(a) a certified copy of the maintenance order;
(b) a certificate, signed by the Registrar, certifying that the order is enforceable in Hong Kong;
(c) a certificate of arrears, so signed;
(d) a statement giving such information as the Registrar possesses as to the whereabouts of the payer;
(e) a statement giving such information as the Registrar possesses for facilitating the identification of the

payer; and
(f) where available, a photograph of the payer,

shall be sent by the Registrar to the Chief Executive with a view to their being transmitted by the Chief Executive to
the responsible authority in the reciprocating country if the Chief Executive is satisfied that the statement relating to
the whereabouts of the payer gives sufficient information to justify that being done. (Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)

(5) Nothing in this section shall be taken as affecting any jurisdiction of a court in Hong Kong with respect to a
maintenance order to which this section applies, and any such order may be enforced, varied or revoked accordingly.
(Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 2 U.K.]

Section: 5 Power of District Court to make provisional order against

person residing in reciprocating country
25 of 1998; 27 of
1999

01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 25 of 1998 s. 2; 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Where an application is made to a court in Hong Kong for a maintenance order against any person and it is
proved that that person is residing in a reciprocating country and the application is one in which the court would have
jurisdiction by virtue of any enactment to make a maintenance order if- (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

(a) that person were residing in Hong Kong; and
(b) a summons to appear before the court in response to the application had been duly served on him,

the court shall have jurisdiction to hear the application and may, subject to subsection (2), make a maintenance order
on the application

(2) A maintenance order made by virtue of this section shall be a provisional order.
(3) If the court hearing an application to which subsection (1) applies is satisfied-

(a) that there are grounds on which a maintenance order containing a provision requiring the making of
payments for the maintenance of a child may be made on that application; but

(b) that it has no jurisdiction to make that order unless it also makes an order providing for the legal
custody of that child,

then for the purpose of enabling the court to make the maintenance order, the applicant shall be deemed to be the
person to whom the legal custody of that child has been committed by an order of the court which is for the time being
in force.

(4) No enactment empowering the District Court to refuse to make an order on an application on the ground
that the matter in question is one which would be more conveniently dealt with by the Court of First Instance shall
apply in relation to an application to which subsection (1) applies. (Amended 25 of 1998 s. 2)

(5) Where a court in Hong Kong makes a maintenance order which is by virtue of this section a provisional
order, the following documents- (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

(a) a certified copy of the maintenance order;
(b) a document, authenticated in the prescribed manner, setting out or summarizing the evidence given in

the proceedings;
(c) a certificate, signed by the Registrar, certifying that the grounds stated in the certificate are the grounds

on which the making of the order might have been opposed by the payer under the order;
(d) a statement giving such information as was available to the court as to the whereabouts of the payer;
(e) a statement giving such information as the Registrar possesses for facilitating the identification of the

payer; and
(f) where available, a photograph of the payer,

shall be sent by the Registrar to the Chief Executive with a view to their being transmitted by the Chief Executive to
the responsible authority in the reciprocating country in which the payer is residing if the Chief Executive is satisfied



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 4

that the statement relating to the whereabouts of the payer gives sufficient information to justify that being done.
(Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)

(6) A maintenance order made by virtue of this section which has been confirmed by a competent court in a
reciprocating country shall be treated for all purposes as if the court in Hong Kong which made the order had made it
in the form in which it was confirmed and as if the order had never been a provisional order, and subject to section 6,
any such order may be enforced, varied or revoked accordingly. (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 3 U.K.]

Section: 6 Variation and revocation of maintenance order made in

Hong Kong
30/06/1997



(1) This section applies to a maintenance order a certified copy of which has been sent to a reciprocating
country in pursuance of section 4 and to a maintenance order made by virtue of section 5 which has been confirmed by
a competent court in such a country.

(2) A court in Hong Kong having power to vary a maintenance order to which this section applies shall have
power to vary that order by a provisional order. (Replaced 61 of 1981 s. 3)

(3) Where the court hearing an application for the variation of a maintenance order to which this section
applies, proposes to vary it by increasing the rate of the payments under the order then, unless either-

(a) both the payer and the payee under the order appear in the proceedings; or
(b) the applicant appears and the appropriate process has been duly served on the other party,

the order varying the order shall be a provisional order.
(4) Where a court in Hong Kong makes a provisional order varying a maintenance order to which this section

applies, the Registrar shall send in the prescribed manner to the court in a reciprocating country having power to
confirm the provisional order a certified copy of the provisional order together with a document, authenticated in the
prescribed manner, setting out or summarizing the evidence given in the proceedings.

(5) Where a certified copy of a provisional order made by a court in a reciprocating country, being an order
varying or revoking a maintenance order to which this section applies, together with a document, duly authenticated,
setting out or summarizing the evidence given in the proceedings in which the provisional order was made, is received
by the court in Hong Kong which made the maintenance order, that court may confirm or refuse to confirm the
provisional order and, if the order is an order varying the maintenance order, confirm it either without alteration or
with such alterations as it thinks reasonable.

(6) For the purposes of determining whether a provisional order should be confirmed under subsection (5), the
court shall proceed as if an application for the variation or revocation, as the case may be, of the maintenance order in
question had been made to it.

(7) Where a maintenance order to which this section applies has been varied by an order (including a
provisional order which has been confirmed) made by a court in Hong Kong or by a competent court in a
reciprocating country, the maintenance order shall, as from the date on which under the provisions of the order the
variation is to take effect, have effect as varied by that order and, where that order was a provisional order, as if that
order had been made in the form in which it was confirmed and as if it had never been a provisional order. (Amended
31 of 1980 s. 2)

(8) Where a maintenance order to which this section applies has been revoked by an order made by a court in
Hong Kong or by a competent court in a reciprocating country, including a provisional order made by the last-
mentioned court which has been confirmed by a court in Hong Kong, the maintenance order shall, as from the date on
which under the provisions of the order the revocation is to take effect, be deemed to have ceased to have effect except
as respects any arrears due under the maintenance order at that date. (Amended 31 of 1980 s. 2)

(9) Where before a maintenance order made by virtue of section 5 is confirmed a document, duly authenticated,
setting out or summarizing evidence taken in a reciprocating country for the purpose of proceedings relating to the
confirmation of the order is received by the court in Hong Kong which made the order, or that court, in compliance
with a request made to it by a court in such a country, takes the evidence of a person residing in Hong Kong for the
purpose of such proceedings, the court in Hong Kong which made the order shall consider that evidence and if, having
done so, it appears to it that the order ought not to have been made-

(a) it shall, in such manner as may be prescribed, give to the person on whose application the maintenance
order was made an opportunity to consider that evidence, to make representations with respect to it and
to adduce further evidence; and

(b) after considering all the evidence and any representations made by that person, it may revoke the



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 5

maintenance order.
(Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 5 U.K.]

Section: 7 Registration in Hong Kong of maintenance order made in

reciprocating country
27 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1) This section applies to a maintenance order made, whether before or after the commencement of this
Ordinance, by a court in a reciprocating country, including such an order made by such a court which has been
confirmed by a court in another reciprocating country, but excluding a provisional order which has not been
confirmed.

(2) Where a certified copy of an order to which this section applies is received by the Chief Executive from the
responsible authority in a reciprocating country, and it appears to the Chief Executive that the payer under the order is
residing in Hong Kong, he shall send the copy of the order to the Registrar of the District Court. (Amended 61 of
1981 s. 6)

(3) Where the Registrar receives from the Chief Executive a certified copy of an order to which this section
applies, he shall, subject to subsection (4), register the order in the court in the prescribed manner.

(4) Before registering an order under this section the Registrar shall take such steps as he thinks fit for the
purpose of ascertaining whether the payer under the order is residing in Hong Kong, and if after taking those steps he
is satisfied that the payer is not so residing he shall return the certified copy of the order to the Chief Executive with a
statement giving such information as he possesses as to the whereabouts of the payer. (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 4)

(Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)
[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 6 U.K.]


Section: 8 Confirmation by District Court of provisional order made

in reciprocating country
27 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1) This section applies to a maintenance order made, whether before or after the commencement of this
Ordinance, by a court in a reciprocating country, being a provisional order.

(2) Where a certified copy of an order to which this section applies together with-
(a) a document, duly authenticated, setting out or summarizing the evidence given in the proceedings in

which the order was made; and
(b) a statement of the grounds on which the making of the order might have been opposed by the payer

under the order,
is received by the Chief Executive from the responsible authority in a reciprocating country, and it appears to the

Chief Executive that the payer under the order is residing in Hong Kong, he shall send the copy of the order and
documents which accompanied it to the Registrar of the District Court, and the District Court shall- (Amended 61 of
1981 s. 6; 27 of 1999 s. 3)

(i) if the payer under the order establishes any such defence as he might have raised in the
proceedings in which the order was made, refuse to confirm the order; and

(ii) in any other case, confirm the order without alteration or with such alterations as it thinks
reasonable.

(3) In any proceedings for the confirmation under this section of a provisional order, the statement received
from the court which made the order of the grounds on which the making of the order might have been opposed by the
payer under the order shall be conclusive evidence that the payer might have raised a defence on any of those grounds
in the proceedings in which the order was made.

(4) For the purposes of determining whether a provisional order should be confirmed under this section the
District Court shall proceed as if an application for a maintenance order against the payer under the provisional order
had been made to it.



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 6

(5) The Registrar shall, if the District Court confirms the order, register the order in the court in the prescribed
manner, or if the court refuses to confirm the order, return the certified copy of the order and the documents which
accompanied it to the Chief Executive. (Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)

(6) If a summons to appear in the proceedings for the confirmation of the provisional order cannot be duly
served on the payer under the order the Registrar shall return the certified copy of the order and the documents which
accompanied it to the Chief Executive with a statement giving such information as he possesses as to the whereabouts
of the payer. (Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 7 U.K.]

Section: 9 Enforcement of maintenance order registered in Hong

Kong
30/06/1997



(1) A registered order may be enforced in Hong Kong as if it had been made by the District Court and as if that
court had had jurisdiction to make it; and proceedings for or with respect to the enforcement of any such order may be
taken accordingly.

(2) Any person for the time being under an obligation to make payments in pursuance of a registered order
shall give notice of any change of address to the Registrar of the District Court, and any person failing without
reasonable excuse to give such a notice commits an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding $500. (Amended 61
of 1981 s. 6)

(3) (a) A sum ordered to be paid under a registered order shall be recoverable as a civil debt.
(b) If an application is made to the District Court alleging that default has been made in paying a sum

ordered to be paid under a registered order, the District Court may, if it considers the circumstances
require it, for the purpose of securing the presence of the person alleged to be in default, issue a
warrant to arrest him and bring him before the court, whether or not a summons has been issued
previously. (cf. Cap 183 s. 13)

(4) On the hearing of an application for the enforcement of a registered order, the District Court may remit the
whole or any part of the amount due under the order. (cf. Cap 183 s. 14)

(5) In any proceedings for or with respect to the enforcement of an order which is for the time being registered
in the District Court under this Ordinance a certificate of arrears sent to the Registrar shall be evidence of the facts
stated therein.

(6) Subject to subsection (7), sums of money payable under a registered order shall be payable in accordance
with the order as from the date on which they are required to be paid under the provisions of the order. (Amended 31
of 1980 s. 3)

(7) The District Court may, if it decides to confirm a provisional order under section 8, direct that the sums of
money payable under the order shall be deemed to have been payable in accordance with the order as from the date on
which they are required to be paid under the provisions of the order or such later date as the District Court may
specify; and subject to any such direction, a maintenance order registered under section 8 shall be treated as if it had
been made in the form in which it was confirmed and as if it had never been a provisional order. (Amended 31 of
1980 s. 3)

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 8 U.K.]

Section: 10 Variation and revocation of maintenance order registered

in District Court
30/06/1997



(1) Subject to this section, the District Court-
(a) shall have the like power, on an application made by the payer or payee under a registered order, to

vary or revoke the order as if it had been made by the District Court and as if that court had had
jurisdiction to make it; and

(b) shall have power to vary or revoke a registered order by a provisional order.
(2) The District court shall not vary a registered order otherwise than by a provisional order unless-

(a) both the payer and the payee under the registered order are for the time being residing in Hong Kong;
or

(b) the application is made by the payee under the registered order; or
(c) the variation consists of a reduction in the rate of the payments under the registered order and is made

solely on the ground that there has been a change in the financial circumstances of the payer since the



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 7

registered order was made or, in the case of an order registered under section 8, since the registered
order was confirmed, and the courts in the reciprocating country in which the maintenance order in
question was made do not have power, according to the law in force in that country, to confirm
provisional orders varying maintenance orders.

(3) The District Court shall not revoke a registered order otherwise than by a provisional order unless both the
payer and the payee under the registered order are for the time being residing in Hong Kong.

(4) On an application for the revocation of a registered order the District Court shall, unless both the payer and
the payee under the registered order are for the time being residing in Hong Kong, apply the law applied by the
reciprocating country in which the order was made, but where by virtue of this subsection the District Court is
required to apply that law, the court may make a provisional order if it has reason to believe that the ground on which
the application is made is a ground on which the order could be revoked according to the law applied by the
reciprocating country, notwithstanding that it has not been established that it is such a ground.

(5) Where the District Court makes a provisional order varying or revoking a registered order, the Registrar
shall send in the prescribed manner to the court in the reciprocating country which made the registered order a
certified copy of the provisional order together with a document, authenticated in the prescribed manner, setting out or
summarizing the evidence given in the proceedings.

(6) Where a certified copy of a provisional order made by a court in a reciprocating country, being an order
varying a registered order, together with a document, duly authenticated, setting out or summarizing the evidence
given in the proceedings in which the provisional order was made, is received by the District Court, the court may
confirm the order, either without alteration, or with such alterations as it thinks reasonable or refuse to confirm the
order.

(7) For the purposes of determining whether a provisional order should be confirmed under subsection (6) the
District Court shall proceed as if an application for the variation of the registered order had been made to it.

(8) Where a registered order has been varied by an order (including a provisional order which has been
confirmed) made by the District Court or by a competent court in a reciprocating country, the registered order shall,
as from the date on which under the provisions of the order the variation is to take effect, have effect as varied by that
order and, where that order was a provisional order, as if that order had been made in the form in which it was
confirmed and as if it had never been a provisional order. (Amended 31 of 1980 s. 4)

(9) Where a registered order has been revoked by an order made by the District Court or by a competent court
in a reciprocating country, including a provisional order made by the first-mentioned court which has been confirmed
by a competent court in a reciprocating country, the registered order shall, as from the date on which under the
provisions of the order the revocation is to take effect, be deemed to have ceased to have effect except as respects any
arrears due under the registered order at that date. (Amended 31 of 1980 s . 4)

(10) The Registrar shall register in the prescribed manner any order varying a registered order other than a
provisional order which is not confirmed.

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 9 U.K.]

Section: 11 Cancellation of registration and transfer of order 27 of 1999 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1) Where-
(a) a registered order is revoked by an order made by the District Court; or
(b) a registered order is revoked by a provisional order made by the District Court which has been

confirmed by a court in a reciprocating country and notice of the confirmation is received by the
District Court; or

(c) a registered order is revoked by an order made by a court in a reciprocating country and notice of the
revocation is received by the District Court,

the Registrar shall cancel the registration but any arrears due under the registered order at the date when its registration
is cancelled by virtue of this subsection shall continue to be recoverable as if the registration had not been cancelled.

(2) Where the Registrar is of opinion that the payer under a registered order has ceased to reside in Hong Kong,
he shall cancel the registration of the order and shall send the certified copy of the order to the Chief Executive.

(3) The Registrar shall send to the Chief Executive with the certified copy of the order-
(a) a certificate of arrears signed by him;



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 8

(b) a statement giving such information as he possesses as to the whereabouts of the payer; and
(c) any relevant documents in his possession relating to the case.

(Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)
[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 10 U.K.]


Section: 12 Steps to be taken by the Chief Executive where payer

under certain orders is not residing in Hong Kong
27 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


(1) If it appears to the Chief Executive that the payer under a maintenance order, a certified copy of which has
been received by him from a reciprocating country, is not residing in Hong Kong or, in the case of an order which
subsequently became a registered order, has ceased to reside therein, he shall send to the responsible authority in that
reciprocating country or, if having regard to all the circumstances he thinks it proper to do so, to the responsible
authority in another reciprocating country-

(a) the certified copy of the order in question and a certified copy of any order varying that order;
(b) if the order has at any time been a registered order, a certificate of arrears signed by the Registrar of

the District Court; (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)
(c) a statement giving such information as the Chief Executive possesses as to the whereabouts of the

payer; and
(d) any other relevant documents in his possession relating to the case.

(2) Where the documents mentioned in subsection (1) are sent to the responsible authority in a reciprocating
country other than that in which the order in question was made, the Chief Executive shall inform the responsible
authority in the reciprocating country in which that order was made of what he has done.

(Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)
[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 11 U.K.]


Section: 13 Appeals 30/06/1997


(1) No appeal shall lie from a provisional order made in pursuance of this Ordinance by a court in Hong Kong.
(Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

(2) Where in pursuance of this Ordinance a court in Hong Kong confirms or refuses to confirm a provisional
order made by a court in a reciprocating country, whether a maintenance order or an order varying or revoking a
maintenance order, the payer or payee under the maintenance order shall have the like right of appeal from the
confirmation of, or refusal to confirm, the provisional order as he would have if that order were not a provisional order
and such court in Hong Kong had made or, as the case may be, refused to make it. (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)

(3) Where in pursuance of this Ordinance the District Court makes, or refused to make, an order varying or
revoking a maintenance order made by a court in a reciprocating country, then, subject to subsection (1), the payer or
payee under the maintenance order shall have the like right of appeal from that order or from the refusal to make it as
he would have if the maintenance order had been made by the District Court.

(4) Nothing in this section except subsection (1) shall be construed as affecting any right of appeal conferred by
any other enactment.

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 12 U.K.]

Section: 14 Admissibility of evidence given in a reciprocating country 30/06/1997


(1) A statement contained in a duly authenticated document which purports to-
(a) set out or summarize evidence given in proceedings in a court in a reciprocating country; or
(b) set out or summarize evidence taken in such a country for the purpose of proceedings in a court in

Hong Kong under this Ordinance, whether in response to a request made by such court or otherwise; or
(c) have been received in evidence in proceedings in a court in such a country or to be a copy of a

document so received,
shall in any proceedings in a court in Hong Kong relating to a maintenance order to which this Ordinance applies be
admissible as evidence of any fact stated therein to the same extent as oral evidence of that fact is admissible in those



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 9

proceedings. (Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)
(2) A document purporting to set out or summarize evidence given as mentioned in subsection (1)(a), or taken

as mentioned in subsection (1)(b), shall be deemed to be duly authenticated for the purposes of subsection (1) if the
document purports to be certified by the judge, magistrate or other person before whom the evidence was given, or, as
the case may be, by whom it was taken, to be the original document containing or recording, or, as the case may be,
summarizing, that evidence or a true copy of that document.

(3) A document purporting to have been received in evidence as mentioned in subsection (1)(c), or to be a copy
of a document so received, shall be deemed to be duly authenticated for the purposes of that subsection if the
document purports to be certified by a judge, magistrate or officer of the court in question to have been, or to be a true
copy of a document which has been, so received.

(4) It shall not be necessary in any such proceedings to prove the signature or official position of the person
appearing to have given such a certificate.

(5) Nothing in this section shall prejudice the admission in evidence of any document which is admissible in
evidence apart from this section.

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 13 U.K.]

Section: 15 Obtaining of evidence needed for certain proceedings 30/06/1997


(1) Where for the purpose of any proceedings in a court in a reciprocating country relating to a maintenance
order to which this Ordinance applies a request is made by or on behalf of that court for the taking in Hong Kong of
the evidence of a person residing therein relating to matters specified in the request, the District Court shall have
power to take that evidence and, after giving notice of the time and place at which the evidence is to be taken to such
persons and in such manner as it thinks fit, shall take the evidence in such manner as may be prescribed. Evidence
taken in compliance with such a request shall be sent in the prescribed manner by the Registrar to the court in the
reciprocating country by or on behalf of which the request was made.

(2) Where any person, not being the payer or the payee under the maintenance order to which the proceedings
in question relate, is required by virtue of this section to give evidence before the District Court, the court may order
that there shall be paid out of the general revenue of the Government such sums as appear to the court reasonably
sufficient to compensate that person for the expense, trouble or loss of time properly incurred in or incidental to his
attendance.

(3) Notwithstanding section 59 of the District Court Ordinance (Cap 336) a court in Hong Kong may for the
purpose of any proceedings in that court under this Ordinance relating to a maintenance order request a court in a
reciprocating country to take or provide evidence relating to such matters as may be specified in the request and may
remit the case to that court for that purpose. (Replaced 61 of 1981 s. 5)

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 14 U.K.]

Section: 16 Order etc. made abroad need not be proved 30/06/1997


For the purposes of this Ordinance, unless the contrary is shown-
(a) any order made by a court in a reciprocating country purporting to bear the seal of that court or to be

signed by any person in his capacity as a judge, magistrate or officer of the court shall be deemed
without further proof to have been duly sealed or, as the case may be, to have been signed by that
person;

(b) the person by whom the order was signed shall be deemed without further proof to have been a judge,
magistrate or officer, as the case may be, of that court when he signed it and, in the case of an officer,
to have been authorized to sign it; and

(c) a document purporting to be a certified copy of an order made by a court in a reciprocating country
shall be deemed without further proof to be such a copy.

[cf. 1972 c.18 s. 15 U.K.]

Section: 17 Payment of sums under order made abroad: conversion of

currency
30/06/1997



(1) Payment of sums due under a registered order shall, while the order is registered in the District Court, be
made in such manner and to such person as may be prescribed.



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 10

(2) Where the sums required to be paid under a registered order are expressed in a currency other than the
currency of Hong Kong, then, as from the relevant date, the order shall be treated as if it were an order requiring the
payment of such sums in the currency of Hong Kong as, on the basis of the rate of exchange prevailing at that date, are
equivalent to the sums so required to be paid.

(3) Where the sum specified in any statement, being a statement of the amount of any arrears due under a
maintenance order made by a court in a reciprocating country, is expressed in a currency other than the currency of
Hong Kong, that sum shall be deemed to be such sum in the currency of Hong Kong as, on the basis of the rate of
exchange prevailing at the relevant date, is equivalent to the sum so specified.

(4) For the purposes of this section a written certificate purporting to be signed by an officer of any bank in
Hong Kong certifying that a specified rate of exchange prevailed between currencies at a specified date and that at
such rate a specified sum in the currency of Hong Kong is equivalent to a specified sum in another specified currency
shall be evidence of the rate of exchange so prevailing on that date and of the equivalent sums in terms of the
respective currencies.

(5) In this section "the relevant date" (有關日期) means-
(a) in relation to a registered order or to a statement of arrears due under a maintenance order made by a

court in a reciprocating country, the date on which the order first becomes a registered order or (if
earlier) the date on which it is confirmed by the District Court;

(b) in relation to a registered order which has been varied, the date on which the last order varying that
order is registered in the District Court or (if earlier) the date on which the last order varying that order
is confirmed by the District Court.

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 16 U.K.]

Section: 18 Absence of respondent 30/06/1997


Where the respondent to an application for the variation or revocation-
(a) of a maintenance order made by a court in Hong Kong, being an order to which section 6 applies; or

(Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6)
(b) of a registered order,

does not appear at the time and place appointed for the hearing of the application, but the court is satisfied that the
respondent is residing in a reciprocating country, the court may proceed to hear and determine the application at the
time and place appointed for the hearing or for any adjourned hearing in like manner as if the respondent had appeared
at that time and place.

[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 17(7) U.K.]

Section: 19 Power to make rules 30/06/1997


The Chief Justice may make rules for the better carrying out of the purposes and provisions of this Ordinance
and in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, may make rules providing for all or any of
the following matters-

(a) the orders made, or other things done, by a court in Hong Kong, or the Registrar, under this Ordinance, or
by a court in a reciprocating country, notice of which is to be given to such person as the rules may provide
and the manner in which notice shall be given;

(b) the cases and manner in which courts in reciprocating countries are to be informed of orders made, or other
things done, by a court in Hong Kong under this Ordinance;

(c) the circumstances and manner in which cases may be remitted by a court in Hong Kong to courts in
reciprocating countries;

(d) the circumstances and manner in which a court in Hong Kong may for the purposes of this Ordinance
communicate with courts in reciprocating countries.

(Amended 61 of 1981 s. 6) [cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 18(1) U.K.]

Section: 20 Application to certain orders and proceedings under

repealed Ordinance
27 of 1999 01/07/1997



Remarks:



Cap 188 - MAINTENANCE ORDERS (RECIPROCAL ENFORCEMENT) ORDINANCE 11

Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 27 of 1999 s. 3


Where the Chief Executive proposes by an order under section 3 to designate as a reciprocating country a
country or place to which at the commencement of that section the repealed Ordinance extended, that Order may
contain such provisions as the Chief Executive considers expedient for the purpose of securing-

(a) that the provisions of this Ordinance apply, subject to such modifications as may be specified in the
Order, to maintenance orders, or maintenance orders of a specified class-
(i) made by a court in Hong Kong against a person residing in that country or place, or (Amended

61 of 1981 s. 6)
(ii) made by a court in that country or place against a person residing in Hong Kong,
being orders to which immediately before the date of the coming into operation of the Order the
repealed Ordinance applied;

(b) that any maintenance order, or maintenance order of a specified class, made by a court in that country
or place which has been confirmed by the District Court under section 6 of the repealed Ordinance and
is in force immediately before that date is registered under section 8 of this Ordinance;

(c) that any proceedings brought under or by virtue of a provision of the repealed Ordinance in the District
Court which are pending at that date, being proceedings affecting a person resident in that country or
place, are continued as if they had been brought under or by virtue of the corresponding provision of
this Ordinance.

(Amended 27 of 1999 s. 3)
[cf. 1972 c. 18 s. 24 U.K.]


Section: 21 Repeal 30/06/1997


The Maintenance Orders (Facilities for Enforcement) Ordinance (Cap 15, 1964 Ed.) is repealed.

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