Integrated Companies Registry Information System (ICRIS)
The Companies Registry has been making extensive use of Information Technology to support the provision of efficient and high quality electronic services for the filing, processing and dissemination of company information. In order to implement our vision of establishing a fully computerised Companies Registry, we have implemented our mission-critical system, the Integrated Companies Registry Information System ("ICRIS") in phases.
Phase I of ICRIS implemented on 28 February 2005 computerised the Registry's core business activities, including the provision of full electronic search services. Paper documents received by the Registry are converted into digitised images for data entry, system verification and online scrutiny by Registry staff. Customers can conduct online searches on the latest information of companies registered in the Registry's database on a 24-hour basis seven days a week through our Cyber Search Centre.
Phase I of ICRIS has led to a significant reduction in the time taken for processing documents, timely updating and disclosure of company information, enhanced data security and integrity and higher efficiency at reduced operating costs. As a result, companies also enjoy reduced compliance costs and lower operating costs.
Since June 2009, we continued to develop Phase II of ICRIS with a view to delivering other core services through the internet by stages. The first stage which includes an electronic incorporation service and a one-stop company incorporation and business registration service was launched at our e-service portal, "e-Registry", in March 2011. The time required for company incorporation and business registration through the e-Registry is significantly reduced from 4 working days (for paper application) to within 1 hour.
Since the last quarter of 2011, the Registry has continuously launched various new services at the e-Registry. They include electronic services for submission of commonly filed statutory forms for reporting changes of company information and annual return; registration of agents, Annual Return e-Reminder service and e-Monitor service.
The development of electronic submission service for other specified forms was completed in February 2015. A full scale electronic filing service covering 84 specified forms and related documents under the Companies Ordinance (Chapter 622) and the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Chapter 32) is now available at the e-Registry.
Next Generation of ICRIS
In late 2018, the Companies Registry embarked on a project entitled “the Next Generation of Integrated Companies Registry Information System for the Companies Registry” (“Revamped ICRIS”). The Revamped ICRIS will replace all existing information systems as a mission-critical IT cornerstone of the Registry supporting its core business operations, including registration of companies and statutory returns as well as public search services. The Revamped ICRIS is targeted to be launched in late 2022.
The Revamped ICRIS will be supported by a robust, secure and scalable IT infrastructure. It will also bring about improvement and consistency in customers’ experience through the provision of a one-stop portal for all electronic services - a single platform for all relevant information, applications and the Registry’s interaction with stakeholders. Through a unified access to business applications such as company searches, filing of documents and other electronic services, customers will be able to submit company information for registration more efficiently using a single platform. Quality and personalised document registration and searching services with new search functions and features will be available to facilitate businesses.