SCIO press conference on the development of Hengqin and Qianhai

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Hong Kong Bauhinia Magazine:

The general plan for building the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin specified that the cooperation zone is the area under customs supervision between Hengqin island's "first-line" and "second-line." The ports between Hengqin and Macao shall be subject to the "first-line" administration, and the ports between Hengqin and the rest parts of the mainland shall be subject to the "second-line" administration. What was your consideration in setting up such a new system? What role will it play? Thank you.

Zou Zhiwu:

Thank you for your questions.

The GACC has earnestly implemented General Secretary Xi Jinping's important instructions on Hengqin's opening-up and development, carried out the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council, and supported the building of the Guangdong-Macao In-depth Cooperation Zone in Hengqin. This general plan specified that the cooperation zone is the area under customs supervision between Hengqin island's "first-line" and "second-line." This posed a new requirement for the customs work.

In fact, in 2011, the "The Reply of the State Council on Relevant Policies of Development of Hengqin" proposed that "the port between Hengqin and Macao should be set as a 'first-line' management, and the port between Hengqin and the mainland should be set as a 'second-line' management." This time the general plan has further clarified the two-line management system, mainly for the continuous implementation of filing management for goods entering and leaving through the first line, and further simplifying declaration procedures and factors. Except for goods and articles that are not tax-exempted or bonded as specified by national laws and administrative regulations, other goods and articles may be tax-exempted or bonded into the cooperation zone.

The implementation of two-line management can give better play to the unique policy and institutional advantages of the cooperation zone. And this is conducive to building a new, sophisticated system to ensure integrated openness with Macao. Likewise, this promotes rational and diverse economic development in Macao, fosters an industrial connection between Hengqin and Macao, and allows for the flow of personnel between Hengqin and Macao, in particular, for Macao residents to enter and exit the cooperation zone conveniently, so that it can truly become a new space where Macao residents live and find employment – all while becoming a new model of "one country, two systems", as well as a high ground for building the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

As you all know, Guangdong and Macao belong to different customs areas, and so too do they have different tariff levels, prohibition and control systems, inspection and quarantine, as well as other laws and regulations. This requires the customs and relevant administrative departments of the two localities to find a set of common or mutually recognized rules and standards for the cooperation zone. It also requires customs to support and service the construction of the cooperation zone, facilitating "hard connectivity" between infrastructures and "soft connectivity" of regulatory rules and standards.

Next, the General Administration of Customs and relevant departments of the State Council will take into account the opinions of all sectors of the Macao SAR and relevant parties of Guangdong province, with an eye towards strengthening the connection and coordination with the Macao Customs Service and relevant administrative departments, intensifying efforts to innovate the regulatory system, tailoring a regulatory system and matching supportive measures to enhance regulation while optimizing services in the cooperation zone, earnestly implementing them, and striving to properly play customs' role in building the cooperation zone. Thanks.

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