CS reviews Hong Kong Customs passing-out parade (with photos)

8 Dec 2023

The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, attended the Passing-out Parade for the 136th-139th Customs Inspector Induction Courses and the 488th-491st Customs Officer Induction Courses at the Hong Kong Customs College today (December 8) to inspect 79 Probationary Customs Inspectors and 94 Probationary Customs Officers on parade. For the first time, there are six Probationary Customs Inspectors among the passing-out officers who are also members of the Customs Youth Leader Corps.

The Guards of Honour and all passing-out officers adopted the Chinese-style foot drill to form the bauhinia pattern which represents the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) during the foot drill performance. This arrangement symbolised the passing-out officers bearing allegiance to the HKSAR. Then, the parade formed a pattern that represents the world, demonstrating the full support of Hong Kong Customs for the country's Belt and Road Initiative. The performance concluded with the pattern symbolising the District Council election to appeal to voters to vote.

In his speech, Mr Chan said with the staunch support of the country, Hong Kong has been fully implementing the National Security Law and embarking on the new journey from stability to prosperity in full normalcy after the epidemic, and that Hong Kong Customs shoulders four important missions along this course.

On safeguarding national security and maintaining social stability, Mr Chan praised Hong Kong Customs for its remarkable achievements in combating smuggling and drug trafficking syndicates. Pointing out that the number of relevant cases detected in the first 10 months this year has seen an over 50 per cent year-on-year increase, Mr Chan stressed that Customs officers have to stay vigilant at all times and adopt the bottom-line thinking.

Capitalising on Hong Kong's distinctive advantage of enjoying the strong support of the motherland and being closely connected to the world, Mr Chan reckoned that the leadership role of Hong Kong Customs on the international stage has become more noticeable. In addition to the endorsement by the World Customs Organization (WCO) to establish a WCO Regional Dog Training Centre in Hong Kong, Hong Kong Customs will take up the post of the WCO Vice-Chairperson for the Asia/Pacific Region from 2024 to 2026. The department is also dedicated to expediting the development of Smart Customs and has launched the Smart Customs, Smart Borders and Smart Connectivity Initiative together with the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China to facilitate the high quality development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

To improve people's livelihood, Mr Chan said that Hong Kong Customs is committed to protecting the rights and interests of consumers. The department has handled more than 10 000 complaints relating to the Trade Descriptions Ordinance in the first 10 months this year to rigorously crack down on unscrupulous traders in order to ensure a safe and pleasant shopping experience for the public and visitors.

On promoting youth development, Mr Chan said Hong Kong Customs established in 2021 a youth development programme known as Customs YES to nurture positive mindsets and law-abiding behaviour of young people, and to heighten their sense of national identity.

Mr Chan encouraged the passing-out officers to achieve Hong Kong Customs' objective of "Connectivity towards Security and Prosperity", and strive to provide diverse and quality customs services, making significant new contributions to the country and Hong Kong.

The District Council election is to be held the day after tomorrow (December 10). Mr Chan called upon fellow colleagues, friends and guests to fulfil their civic responsibilities by voting for the District Council members they trust, with whom they can build together a prosperous and harmonious community.

Ends/Friday, December 8, 2023

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