What is “Temporary Places of Public Entertainment Licence” and how to apply?

Recently, there has been an abundant supply of news reports surrounding the Temporary Places of Public Entertainment Licence. Acknowledging the societal significance of the matter, prime cases include how the artspace at 404 Shanghai Street which was forcefully put of of business, and how the Innovation and Technology Bureau necessitated local Cyber Games Arena’s compulsory application for relevant licences.

Speaking from a project manager’s perspective, this substantial matter remains extremely relevant to our role as a whole: if an event was to take place at a setting that lacked required licences, personnel should be allocated to apply for the Temporary Places of Public Entertainment Licence. This minimizes the potential of dire consequences which can greatly impede efficiency and dismisses existing effort,  notable in a well-known case where Hong Kong celebrity Leon’s 2016 live concert “30th Anniversary Random Love Songs 4D” was abruptly cancelled on the day due to licensing problems. 

So, back to the point: what actually is Temporary Places of Public Entertainment Licence? The following fun tips could help you understand holistically. 

Under what kind of situations are Temporary Places of Public Entertainment Licence in need?

Entertainment events are diverse in nature, including exhibitions, talks, storytelling, auctions, on stage performances (small scale concerts and drama performances), and much more.

Unlike private occasions, these events are open to public, hence are situated in settings that are exposed to a public audience, more commonly “Temporary Places of Public Entertainment”. Thus, even if you are organising a public event in a private setting, a licence is required.

Application period

  • temporary establishment without cover: to be handed in 18 days before
  • temporary establishment with cover: to be handed in 42 days before 

Application formalities

  • Each to be handed into Food and Environmental Hygiene Department: a set of certified 4 copies of the application form*1, event schedule, floor plan of the setting, WR1*2 OR the setting’s available WR2.
  • licensing is region-specific, if there are two designated settings for the event, applications need to be handed in separately to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Departments of different regions.
  • Food and Environmental Hygiene Departments serve as the middlemen by transferring your application to the Fire Services Department, the Buildings Department, the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department, the Transport Department*3, the HK Police Force, and the Lands Department.
  • The Fire Services Department, HK Police Force, and the Lands Department will contact you via phone to enquire about event details, including crowd control, toilets (e.g portable toilets), size of the temporary establishment*4, fire exit routes. 
  • If there are no alarming problems, a Letter of No Objection will be released, evident of how no reasons are found for objection
  • The event organiser must comply with the terms listed out by the Letter of No Objection, including if there are abundant fire extinguishers (with an associated licence), the use of fireproof materials such as cloth or wood, which if not then the spraying of fireproof paint by engineers should be considered

*1 depends if laser equipment is included, if so then 4 forms are needed

*2 depends if there are suspected power problems, registered electrical contractors 

*3 if involves traffic situation 

*4 if higher than 2 meters or total volume over 3 cubic meters, it is required to find a registered structural engineer to sign the RSE

How do you know if your application is successful?

  • The Fire Services Department and the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will arrange a time with you for onsite inspection 
  • The Fire Services Department needs to inspect all materials and existing certifications after the site is set 
  • After inspection by the Fire Services Department, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department will confirm the recipient of the certificate, where the organiser is required to immediately pay and receive the Temporary Places of Public Entertainment Licence

Application fee

Below 1 month HKD 1655
More than 1 month, less than 3 months HKD 4945
More than 3 month, less than 6 months HKD 9910
More than 6 month, less than 12 months HKD 16510