The Legislative Council of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) on Wednesday passed a new law underpinning arrangements for Hong Kong's customs and immigration facilities to be co-located with those of the Chinese mainland at the Shenzhen Bay Port.
The Shenzhen Bay Port Hong Kong Port Area Ordinance will provide a legal basis for the setting up of a Hong Kong Port Area inside the Shenzhen Bay Port.
The ordinance provides for, among other things, the application of the laws of Hong Kong SAR to the Hong Kong Port Area and the court's jurisdiction in this connection.
A HKSAR government spokesman said the HKSAR government will proceed with the introduction of necessary subsidiary legislation to support the operation of the Hong Kong Port Area after the ordinance is published in the Gazette on Friday.
The new control point at the Shenzhen Bay Port, which is to be linked to Ngau Hom Shek in the Northwest New Territories through the Shenzhen Bay Bridge (also known as the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor), will be the fourth vehicular boundary crossing between Hong Kong and the Mainland.
Hong Kong and neighboring Shenzhen City authorities are making the best efforts to commission the Shenzhen Bay Port within this year and both sides are also finalizing detailed arrangements on the control point's opening.
The National People's Congress, or China's top legislature, has authorized in March to allow Hong Kong to set up a customs office in the neighboring port city of Shenzhen in the Chinese mainland to ease pressure on overloaded port facilities, boost economic development in Hong Kong and the mainland and maintain stability and prosperity in Hong Kong.
The new port installations will be located near the cross-border bridge that will link Shenzhen and Hong Kong in Shenzhen Bay, west of the two cities.
Hong Kong and Shenzhen originally planned to establish their customs offices at opposite ends of the bridge between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. But due to "pressure of space", the Hong Kong SAR government asked for permission to lease a stretch of land and build its custom office on the Shenzhen side.
(Xinhua News Agency April 26, 2007)