Streamlined vehicle checks come to southern border
The first batch of Macao vehicles went quickly through customs procedures to enter the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone in Guangdong province using vehicle shortcut lanes at the Hengqin checkpoint on Tuesday afternoon.
It was a significant step in accelerating the integration of Hengqin island with Macao.
After the special one-stop vehicle lanes began trial operations on Tuesday afternoon, all vehicles must line up only once for joint inspections from five units of Zhuhai and the Macao Special Administrative Region when they want to be taken in or out of the Chinese mainland.
The Hengqin checkpoint has taken the lead in the country by introducing a one-stop joint inspection for vehicles to leave and enter the mainland, according to a statement released by the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone on Hengqin Island on Tuesday. The zone recently celebrated its 2nd anniversary.
The five units that jointly inspect the vehicles commute between Zhuhai and Macao include Hengqin Customs, Hengqin Frontier Inspection, Macao Customs, Macao Social Security Police and Macao health authorities.
Previously, vehicles had to line up several times for inspections by relevant departments and authorities in both Macao and Hengqin, which is located at the mouth of the Pearl River.
"It's really much more convenient for the vehicles that operate between Zhuhai and Macao every day," said a Macao driver who specifically drove to experience the new one-stop vehicle lanes on Tuesday.
"I can save a lot of time through the one-stop vehicle shortcut lanes," she said.
The checkpoint has opened a total of 15 one-stop shortcut lanes for trial operations, including six from Hengqin to Macao and another nine from Macao to Hengqin.
Hengqin checkpoint now deals with about 5,000 vehicles in and out of the mainland everyday, making it one of China's largest land exit and entry ports.
Zeng Xiang, an officer with Hengqin Customs, said the introduction of the one-stop vehicle lane is an important measure that creates a new space for convenient living and employment for Macao residents and better supports high-quality development and high-level opening-up in the Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone.
Meanwhile, the border inspection units of both sides will coordinate with relevant departments to continuously improve border inspection systems and optimize customs clearance processes to serve residents who have to commute between the two regions in the months to come.