The Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), Ms Teresa Cheng, SC, and the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Hermes Tang, officiated at a reception today (January 25) in celebrating the 2019 International Customs Day (ICD).
This year, the World Customs Organization (WCO) devotes ICD to the theme of "SMART borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport", which aims at facilitating the cross-boundary movement of goods, people and transportation through advanced technology and modernised customs management.
Officiating at the reception, Ms Cheng said that Hong Kong Customs has an important role to play in the creation of smart boundaries in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. She recognises Hong Kong Customs' dedicated efforts in moving towards smart boundary management by establishing an innovative clearance regime and building up a close partnership with other Customs administrations and the business sector.
Ms Cheng added that the Trade Single Window and the Hong Kong Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programme offer the benefits of advanced technology and business knowledge that help saving time and cost for traders. Through setting up of a prioritised clearance facility at the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Control Point, companies accredited under the AEO Programme can further enjoy seamless priority clearance within the Greater Bay Area.
In his remarks, Mr Tang highlighted the twin roles of Hong Kong Customs as both the "trade facilitator" and "community guardian" in the highly-connected world. Using the acronym "SMART", he shared with the reception's participants the philosophy of frontiers transformation: "Secure", "Measurable", "Automated", "Risk management-based" and "Technology-driven", by which Hong Kong Customs uses to meet the public expectations.
Mr Tang added that Hong Kong Customs would proactively promote the development of SMART boundaries in the Greater Bay Area by leveraging on technology and innovation and explore facilitation measures with the Mainland and Macao Customs. Marking the 110th anniversary of the department's establishment, Hong Kong Customs will remain committed to its motto of "Serve the Community with Commitment and Excellence".
Hong Kong Customs has celebrated the ICD since Hong Kong became a member of the WCO in 1987. At the reception, Ms Cheng presented WCO Certificates of Merit to officers of Hong Kong Customs in recognition of their efforts contributing to facilitating trade, travel and transport.
About 370 guests, including Members of the Executive and Legislative Councils, HKSAR Government officials, Consuls General, foreign Customs attaches and representatives from Customs administrations of the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao, as well as private sector stakeholders, attended the reception.
Ends/Friday, January 25, 2019