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HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts



Technical Resources


This webpage contains pronouncements, guides and articles that are relevant to HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts.
For more details on our events and other activities to support implementation of HKFRS 17, click here.
Additionally, please see a list of the Institute’s upcoming training for HKFRS 17 here.


Effective Date

HKFRS 17 is effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023. If an entity applies HKFRS 17 earlier, it shall disclose that fact. Early application is permitted for entities that apply HKFRS 9 Financial Instruments on or before the date of initial application of HKFRS 17.



Amendments to IFRS/HKFRS 17

In May 2017, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts. The HKICPA's Financial Reporting Standards Committee (FRSC) approved HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts in December 2017.


In June 2019, the IASB issued the ED Amendments to IFRS 17 (the IASB ED), which introduced targeted amendments to IFRS 17 designed to address issues raised during the implementation of the Standard. Following redeliberations during late 2019 and early 2020, the IASB finalized and issued the amendments to IFRS 17 in June 2020.

The amendments to IFRS 17 provide, among other things, to:
  • Defer the effective date from 1 January 2021 to 1 January 2023.
  • Provide scope exclusions for credit card contracts and loan contracts.
  • Allocate acquisition costs to expected contract renewals.
  • Attribute profit (contractual service margin) to service relating to investment activities.
  • Extend applicability of the risk mitigation option. 
  • Reduce accounting mismatches for reinsurance.
  • Simplify balance sheet presentation.
  • Provide additional transition relief.
More information about these amendments can be found at the IASB’s website.
The Institute issued an Invitation to Comment on the IASB ED on 27 June 2019, with comments due by 19 August 2019. The Institute undertook significant outreach activities and developed its views through its Financial Reporting Standards Committee and considering feedback from stakeholders.
The Institute’s comment letter in response to the IASB ED was submitted on 25 September and can be found at the Institute’s website.

In October 2020, after robust due process, the Institute’s Financial Reporting Standards Committee finalized endorsement of, and issued, equivalent Amendments to HKFRS 17. 



Affected standards

Supersedes HKFRS 4 Insurance Contracts.


Why do we need a new Standard?

HKFRS 4 Insurance Contracts was an interim standard that allowed entities to use a wide variety of accounting practices for insurance contracts, reflecting national accounting requirements and variations of those requirements.


The differences in accounting treatment across jurisdictions and products made it difficult for investors and analysts to understand and compare insurers’ results. In addition, some previous insurance accounting practices permitted under IFRS 4 did not adequately reflect the true underlying financial positions or the financial performance of these insurance contracts. As a result, most stakeholders, including insurers, agreed on the need for a common global insurance accounting standard even though opinions varied as to what it should be.


HKFRS/IFRS 17 aims to address these issues by making insurers’ financial statements more useful and insurance accounting practices consistent across jurisdictions.



  Click below for more information

901BTRIBe IFRS 17 technical issues paper to IASB staff

Letter to Hong Kong authorized Insurers: HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts

file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Letter to IASB: HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts
Additional references issued and support by the Institute and IASB
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Useful references issued by other organisations
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Aplus articles
901BTRIBe Letter to the IASB on Exposure Draft ED/2021/8 Initial Application of IFRS 17 and IFRS 9—Comparative Information




Additional references issued and support by the Institute and IASB
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif The Institute Standard Setting Department
file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif IASB

Useful references issued by other organisations
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif Deloitte
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif EY

 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif KPMG
 file/media/general/SMP-and-SME-Resource-Centre/901BTRIBe.gif PwC

Aplus articles

901BTRIBe Insurance accounting redefined (June 2018)
IFRS 17 Insurance Contracts - the wait is over, now what? (June 2017)
901BTRIBe A glimpse into the future of insurance accounting(June 2017)

What to expect from the forthcoming Insurance Contracts standard (November 2016)

HKFRS 17 Insurance Contracts: Contractual service margin (May 2021)
Five areas of focus for general insurers during IFRS 17 project planning and implementation (October 2021)







Last updated: 17 November 2023


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