Massage Establishments Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

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Cap 266 - MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 266 MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To provide for the control and licensing of massage establishments and for matters connected therewith or incidental
thereto.


[5 December 1983] L.N. 381 of 1983


(Originally 53 of 1983)

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Massage Establishments Ordinance.

Part: I PRELIMINARY 30/06/1997




Section: 2 Interpretation L.N. 174 of 2002 27/12/2002


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-
"conditions of the licence" (牌照條件) means any conditions imposed by the licensing authority under section 6(2) or

under section 17(2);
"full-body massage" (全身按摩) means a massage service or treatment provided to a person covering that part of his

body below the shoulders and above the knees, including or excluding arms; (Added 28 of 2001 s. 2)
"licence" (牌照) means a licence to operate a massage establishment granted under section 6 or renewed under

section 7;
"licensee" (持牌人) means a person to whom a licence has been issued;
"licensing authority" (發牌當局) means a person referred to in section 5;
"massage establishment" (按摩院) means any place used or intended to be used or represented as being used for the

reception or treatment of persons requiring massage or other similar service or treatment.

Section: 3 Application of Ordinance 2 of 2012 17/02/2012


This Ordinance shall not apply to-
(a) a hospital or maternity home maintained by the Government or registered under the Hospitals, Nursing

Homes and Maternity Homes Registration Ordinance (Cap 165); (Amended 2 of 2012 s. 3)
(aa) a military hospital or a maternity home of the Hong Kong Garrison; (Added 2 of 2012 s. 3)
(b) an establishment for medical treatment operated by a medical practitioner registered under the Medical

Registration Ordinance (Cap 161);
(c) the premises of a hair salon, or of a beauty parlour, where massage is administered in the premises in

full view of customers resorting thereto; (Replaced 28 of 2001 s. 3)
(d) an establishment for physiotherapy operated by a physiotherapist registered under the Supplementary

Medical Professions Ordinance (Cap 359); (Amended 28 of 2001 s. 3)
(e) (Repealed 67 of 1985 s. 16)
(f) a massage establishment where-

(i) no massage other than face, scalp, neck, shoulder, hand, arm or foot (up to knee) massage is
administered to customers; or

(ii) no full-body massage is administered to a customer by a person of the opposite sex; (Added 28
of 2001 s. 3)

(g) the premises for practising Chinese medicine operated by a registered Chinese medicine practitioner or
listed Chinese medicine practitioner as defined in section 2 of the Chinese Medicine Ordinance (Cap
549); or (Added 28 of 2001 s. 3)



Cap 266 - MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS ORDINANCE 2

(h) the premises for chiropractic operated by a chiropractor registered under the Chiropractors Registration
Ordinance (Cap 428). (Added 28 of 2001 s. 3)

(Amended 67 of 1985 s. 16)

Section: 4 Prohibition on operating etc. massage establishment

without a licence
30/06/1997



(1) Any person who on any occasion operates, keeps, manages, assists in any capacity in the operation of, or
assists in the management of, a massage establishment for the operation of which a licence is not in force commits an
offence.

(2) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that it shall not be a defence that a person charged with an
offence under subsection (1) did not know that the operation of the massage establishment which is the subject of the
offence was not licensed.

(3) Any person who commits an offence under subsection (1) shall subject to subsection (4) be liable-
(a) on first conviction to a fine of $50000 and to imprisonment for 6 months;
(b) on a second or subsequent conviction to a fine of $100000 and to imprisonment for 2 years.

(4) (Repealed 13 of 1995 s. 2)

Part: II LICENCES 30/06/1997




Section: 5 Authorized officer 30/06/1997


Any person specified in the Schedule may exercise the powers conferred on the licensing authority by this
Ordinance.

Section: 6 Application for and grant of licence 30/06/1997


(1) An application by a person for a licence shall be made to the licensing authority in the prescribed form and
in the prescribed manner.

(2) Subject to subsections (3) and (4), the licensing authority may, in his absolute discretion, grant a licence and
may impose such conditions as he thinks fit.

(3) The licensing authority shall not grant a licence unless he is satisfied that-
(a) the applicant is a fit and proper person to operate a massage establishment;
(b) the applicant will adequately and personally supervise the massage establishment;
(c) the premises and the situation thereof are suitable for the operation of a massage establishment;
(d) the massage establishment will not be operated in a manner contrary to the public interest.

(4) The licensing authority shall not grant a licence to a person other than a natural person.
(5) A licence granted under this section shall be in the prescribed form.
(6) A licence granted under this section shall not be issued and shall not be valid except on payment to the

licensing authority of the prescribed fee.
(7) A licence shall authorize the licensee to operate a massage establishment at the premises specified therein

for a period of 12 months from the date on which it is granted and in accordance with any conditions imposed under
subsection (2).

(8) Where the licensing authority refuses to grant a licence he shall make a written order, properly dated and
signed, to that effect adequately stating by reference to subsection (3)(a), (b), (c) or (d), the matter in respect of which
he is not satisfied and shall send a copy thereof by registered post to the applicant, at the address last known to the
licensing authority. (Added 6 of 1994 s. 49)

Section: 7 Renewal of a licence L.N. 102 of 2003 16/05/2003


(1) A licensee may apply for the renewal of his licence.
(2) This section does not apply to a licensee whose licence is revoked.
(3) An application by a licensee for the renewal of a licence shall-



Cap 266 - MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS ORDINANCE 3

(a) be made not more than 3 months and not less than 2 months prior to the expiration of the licence or
within such other period prior to the expiration thereof as the licensing authority may in writing
permit;

(b) be made to the licensing authority in the prescribed form and in the prescribed manner.
(4) Subject to subsection (8) and section 8, subsections (3), (6) and (7) of section 6 shall apply mutatis

mutandis to an application for renewal made under this section as it applies to an application under section 6 and for
the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that the licensing authority may in respect of the renewed licence impose
any condition in addition to or instead of any condition previously imposed by him. (Amended 28 of 2001 s. 4)

(5) Any licence in respect of which an application for renewal is made under and in accordance with this
section and which expires prior to the determination of such application shall, unless such application is withdrawn, or
the licence is revoked or suspended under section 8, be deemed to continue in force until the determination by the
licensing authority of such application.

(6) A renewal of a licence granted under this section shall-
(a) not be issued and shall not be valid except on payment to the licensing authority of the prescribed fee;
(b) be deemed to be granted from the day following the day upon which the licence being renewed would

have expired but for subsection (5).
(7) Subject to subsection (8), a renewal of a licence granted under this section shall be for a period of 12

months. (Added 28 of 2001 s. 4)
(8) The licensing authority may renew a licence under this section for a period of 24 months if the licensee has

not been in breach of any conditions of the licence. (Added 28 of 2001 s. 4)

Section: 8 Revocation and suspension 30/06/1997


(1) The licensing authority may by notice in writing served upon the licensee either personally or by registered
post revoke, suspend or refuse to renew any licence if in the opinion of the licensing authority- (Amended 6 of 1994
s. 49)

(a) the licensee has been in breach of any conditions of the licence;
(b) the licensee has ceased to satisfy any condition relating to the operation of the massage establishment

in respect of which the licensing authority is required to be satisfied under section 6(3); or
(c) the massage establishment the subject of the licence has been operated on any occasion since the date

on which the licence was granted in any manner contrary to the public interest.
(2) Where a person is convicted of an offence contrary to section 139 of the Crimes Ordinance (Cap 200)-

(a) the licensing authority shall revoke any licence that was held by the convicted person at the time the
offence was committed and which is still in force;

(b) where the convicted person does not hold a licence but the conviction was for an offence which was, in
the opinion of the licensing authority, related to or connected with premises specified in a licence, and
was committed whilst the licence was in force, the licensing authority may revoke the licence.


Section: 8A Notice of revocation, suspension or refusal to renew 30/06/1997


The licensing authority shall, before serving notice under section 8(1), give to the licensee notice of his intention
to do so adequately stating by reference to section 8(1)(a), (b) or (c), the grounds on which he intends to serve the
notice and indicating that the licensee may make written representations to him.

(Added 6 of 1994 s. 49)

Section: 9 Transfer 30/06/1997


(1) Except as provided in this section, a licence shall not be transferable.
(2) The licensing authority may, on sufficient cause being shown to his satisfaction and subject to any

conditions as he may think fit to impose, permit the transfer of an existing licence until its expiration to another person
and such transfer shall be endorsed on the licence.




Cap 266 - MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS ORDINANCE 4

Section: 10 Appeals 30/06/1997


Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of the licensing authority made in respect of him under sections 6, 7,
8 or 9 may, within 28 days from the date when he was informed of the decision, appeal to the Administrative Appeals
Board.

(Replaced 6 of 1994 s. 49)

Part: III MISCELLANEOUS 30/06/1997




Section: 11 Power of licensing authority and police to enter massage
establishment

30/06/1997



(1) For the purpose of ascertaining whether the provisions of this Ordinance are being complied with the
licensing authority, a police officer of the rank of sergeant or above or any person authorized in writing by the
licensing authority in that behalf may on production of his authority (if required) enter and inspect any premises in
relation to which a licence has been issued to operate a massage establishment.

(2) If it is made to appear to a magistrate by information upon oath that there is reason to believe that an
offence against section 4 is being committed in any place, the magistrate may issue a warrant authorizing any police
officer to enter and search such place. (Amended 47 of 1997 s. 10)

Section: 12 Regulations 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


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


The Chief Executive in Council may by regulation- (Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)
(a) prescribe anything required or permitted to be prescribed under this Ordinance;
(b) specify the particulars which an applicant for a licence shall furnish to the licensing authority;
(c) empower the licensing authority to exempt any place, trade, business or occupation situated or carried

on within specified areas from the operation of this Ordinance or of any part thereof or of any
regulations made thereunder, and specifying and varying the boundaries of such areas; and

(d) provide for the better carrying into effect of the provisions and purposes of this Ordinance.

Section: 13 Offences in relation to licences 30/06/1997


(1) Any person who on any occasion operates, keeps, manages, assists in any capacity in the operation of, or
assists in the management of, a massage establishment in regard to the operation of which a licence has been issued
under this Ordinance otherwise than in accordance with the conditions of the licence commits an offence.

(2) Where a condition of the licence is contravened the licensee shall be guilty of an offence unless he satisfies
the court that-

(a) he did not know and had no reason to suspect the existence of the circumstances giving rise to the
contravention; and

(b) he could not, by the exercise of reasonable supervision and reasonable diligence, have prevented those
circumstances arising.

(3) Any person who makes any false or misleading statement or furnishes any false or misleading information
in connection with any application for the issue or renewal of a licence commits an offence.

Section: 14 Penalty 30/06/1997


Any person who commits an offence under section 13, shall be liable to a fine of $50000 and to imprisonment
for 6 months.




Cap 266 - MASSAGE ESTABLISHMENTS ORDINANCE 5

Section: 15 Aids in proof 30/06/1997


For the purpose of any proceedings under this Ordinance a document purporting to be a-
(a) copy of a licence and of any conditions to which the licence is subject certified to be a true copy by a

police officer of the rank of Superintendent or above shall be received in evidence on its production
without further proof and, until the contrary is proved, it shall be presumed that-
(i) the document is a true copy of the licence;
(ii) the person who certified the document was a police officer of the rank stated in the certificate;

and
(iii) the licence was issued in respect of the premises stated in the document to the person stated in

the document and is subject to those conditions;
(b) certificate signed by a police officer of the rank of Superintendent or above that the person named in

the certificate was on the date specified in the certificate convicted of an offence contrary to section 4
and that the offence was committed in relation to any place stated in the certificate shall be admitted in
evidence in any proceedings under section 4 on its production and without further proof and, until the
contrary is proved, it shall be presumed that-
(i) the person who signed the certificate was a police officer of the rank stated in the certificate; and
(ii) any person named in the certificate was on any date specified in the certificate convicted of an

offence contrary to section 4 and that the offence was committed in relation to any place stated in
the certificate.


Section: 16 Power of the Chief Executive to amend Schedule 71 of 1999 01/07/1997


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


The Chief Executive may by notice in the Gazette amend the Schedule.
(Amended 71 of 1999 s. 3)


Section: 17 Transitional 30/06/1997


(1) A massage establishment licence issued under the Miscellaneous Licences Ordinance (Cap 114) and in
force shall, at the day on which this section comes into operation, be deemed to be a licence issued under this
Ordinance.

(2) The licensing authority may, in regard any licence to which subsection (1) applies, by notice in writing
served upon the licensee or sent by registered post to the address of the licensee appearing on the licence, impose such
conditions on the licence as he thinks fit and any such conditions shall take effect as if they were imposed under
section 6(2) on the day on which the notice was served or, in the case of a notice sent by registered post, if the notice
is not returned undelivered, on the seventh day following the day on which the notice was posted.

Schedule: SCHEDULE 30/06/1997


[section 5]
Commissioner of Police

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