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Opening Ceremony of the Kwai Chung Customhouse

12 January 2001

Chief Secretary for Administration, 
Ladies and Gentlemen, colleagues,

Welcome you all to the opening ceremony of Kwai Chung Customhouse today! We are greatly honoured with the presence of Mrs. CHAN, Chief Secretary for Administration, our officiating guest at the opening ceremony.

The commissioning of the Customhouse has ushered the Department into a modern era. Apart from providing office accommodation for different operational units of Customs, the complex houses a comprehensive range of work-related facilities, including cargo examination platforms, warehouses, training rooms, dog kennels and vehicle detention places. The construction of the dangerous goods store, which is the final phase of the project, is still underway and will be completed in June 2001. Kwai Chung Customhouse, a self-contained and purpose-built facility for Customs operation, will then be completed as the first of its kind in Hong Kong.

The shipping industry of Hong Kong is well known for its remarkable achievements, especially the continuous leading position of Kwai Chung Container Terminals in terms of operational efficiency and cargo throughput. It is the responsibility of the Customs and Excise department to foster development in the sectors of shipping and container terminal operation. With the completion of the Customhouse, we will be able to deliver on our performance pledge to the public, upgrade the capacity of cargo clearance, thus making a long step forward in modernization.

In order to cater for future developments and upgrade the quality and efficiency of our service to the public, we have not only introduced an IT system for electronic submission of cargo manifests, but have also committed ourselves to a study on sea cargoes clearance procedures in pursuit of greater efficiency in Customs clearance. We seek to save the manual efforts now required by the industry to lodge cargo manifests with Government departments concerned. We also look for means to monitor more effectively the clearance procedures as well as the accurate dissemination of cargo data, which will facilitate Customs officers' selection of high risk goods for inspection. In this way, the traders will benefit from our better and faster clearance services while our law enforcement capabilities will also be greatly enhanced. 

With the ongoing development of the container terminals, we shall take Kwai Chung Customhouse as or new base and strive for maintaining Hong Kong' s status as the busiest and one of the most efficient container ports in the world joining hands with the industry, and aided by advanced technology and streamlined customs clearance procedures. 

Thank you.

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