Street trading has been a feature of life in Hong Kong for over 100 years. For many years, the Administration's policy has been to properly regulate the hawking activities of licensed hawkers and take enforcement action against illegal hawking. Since the early 1970's, the former Urban Council had stopped issuing new hawker licences under normal circumstances. Following the hawker licensing policy review concluded in early 2009, the Director of Food and Environmental Hygiene had, during the period from July 2009 to April 2012, completed the issuing of 61 new Itinerant (Frozen Confectionery) and 218 new Fixed Pitch (Other Classes) Hawker Licences.
Objectives of Hawker Control
To reduce illegal hawking activities in streets by taking enforcement action
To reduce on-street licensed hawking activities by resiting eligible hawkers into new public markets and implementing the guideline of not issuing new hawker licences under normal circumstances
To minimize through enforcement action, the nuisances created by street trading either by hawkers or by illegal extensions of shops onto the street area
A hawker licence may not be issued to any person who is :
- Under 18 years of age; or
- Already the holder of a valid hawker licence
There are, in essence, two categories of hawker licences; they are :
- Fixed-Pitch Hawker Licences
- Itinerant Hawker Licences
At the end of December 2016, the number of fixed-pitch (excluding Temporary Hawker Licences) and itinerant hawker licences in the urban area were 5 278 and 201 respectively. The number of fixed-pitch (excluding Temporary Hawker Licences) and itinerant hawker licences in the New Territories were 218 and 214 respectively.
Temporary Hawker Licence
A temporary hawker licence may be issued to an applicant as the Director thinks fit and it permits the licensee to hawk for such period (not exceeding one month) and for such purpose as the Director specifies in the licence, subject to any conditions that the Director thinks fits to specify in the licence. The Department will not consider any applications in connection with fund-raising activities for commercial or profit-making purposes. Application form can be downloaded from our webpage at http://www.fehd.gov.hk/english/forms/fehb71.html.
In the urban area, only one hawker licence may be issued to one family (i.e. parent, spouse, son or daughter) and multiple holding of hawker licences is not allowed
No licensed hawker is permitted to hold a market stall agreement with the Department at the same time except for holding a Fixed-Pitch (Cooked Food or Light Refreshment) Hawker Licence in public housing estates
Immediate family members (i.e. parent, spouse, son or daughter) of licensed hawkers are not prohibited from holding market stall agreements with the Department
Licensed hawkers and their immediate family members are not prohibited from holding any other commercial tenancies
In the New Territories, only one hawker licence may be issued to one family i.e. one's spouse, dependent children under the age of 18 and unmarried living under the same roof. Multiple holding of hawker licences is not permitted
An individual family is not allowed to hold a hawker licence in addition to a market stall agreement with the Department or a commercial (shop) tenancy except for holding a Fixed-Pitch (Cooked Food or Light Refreshment) Hawker Licence in public housing estates