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LCQ14: Logistic industry in Hong Kong

     Following is a question by the Hon Jeffrey Lam and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Ms Eva Cheng, at the Legislative Council meeting today (February 16):


     In recent years, the Government has been committed to facilitating the gradual shift of the development of the logistics industry in Hong Kong to high-value goods and services, and cooperating with other areas in the Pearl River Delta Region to build that region into an advanced global manufacturing and modern services base. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) given the different standards currently set by the Mainland and Hong Kong on the specifications of cross-boundary vehicles, whether the Hong Kong SAR Government has discussed standardising such standards with the mainland authorities, so as to reduce vehicle owners' expenses in maintaining and checking their vehicles;

(b) whether it has conducted any study on connecting the "Road Cargo System" in Hong Kong with the automatic customs declaration system "H2000" on the Mainland so that the transport trade will no longer need to submit separate cargo information for clearance under these two systems;

(c) whether it has studied the implementation of one-stop customs clearance arrangements at each border control point;

(d) whether it will provide more suitable land in the New Territories and in other appropriate locations for tenders for the use of shipping, port development and the logistics industry, and in particular, provide suitable land in Kwai Tsing to serve as port back-up sites;

(e) whether it will construct a dedicated berth for barges next to the container terminals in Kwai Chung and equip it with large cranes so as to enhance the efficiency and carrying capacity of the barging service; and

(f) whether it will make more effective use of information technology to coordinate barging arrangements and extend the operation hours of the barging service so as to cope with the demand?

Reply :


(a) The SAR Government has been discussing with the relevant Mainland authorities vehicle inspection standards on both sides of the boundary. However, the issue must be handled carefully as it involves different systems and law enforcement concerns of the two sides. We will continue our work in this area.

     Separately, the trade has earlier on proposed that if the arrangements for vehicle inspection on both sides cannot be standardised for the time being, the Administration should look into whether the timing of vehicle inspection could be aligned in order to help save time and expenses. The Transport Department is currently studying the feasibility of the proposal.

     We have consulted the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on parts (b) and (c) of the question:

(b) In May last year, the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) launched the electronic Road Cargo System (ROCARS) to enable seamless clearance of road cargoes. The Mainland Customs is also developing an electronic system for receiving road cargo manifests. To reduce traders' data input efforts, the two customs authorities have reached agreement to align the formats for data fields common to the two systems. To further facilitate the industry, the Mainland Customs is examining the feasibility of establishing a third-party IT platform to enable the trading community to make submissions electronically at one go to ROCARS and the Mainland's existing H2000 Clearance Management System. C&ED is taking proactive steps to facilitate this.

(c) The launch of ROCARS has brought about opportunities for the Administration to gradually introduce one-stop service at the land boundary points to expedite cargo flow. Since May last year, C&ED and the Immigration Department have been merging their inspection kiosks for cross-boundary goods vehicles in phases. This enables drivers to complete both the immigration and customs clearance processes at the same stop. The kiosk merging work is scheduled for completion by mid-2011. The integration of the two processes would be fully implemented at all the land boundary points when the use of ROCARS would become mandatory in November this year.

     Besides, the Department of Health is examining the feasibility of installing an automatic system for temperature screening at the same kiosks mentioned above, with a view to carrying out health measures for truck drivers at one go.

(d) The SAR Government notes that appropriate land supply is vital to the sustainable development of Hong Kong's logistics industry. Therefore, as set out in the Chief Executive's 2010-11 Policy Address, to support the logistics industry's switch to high-value goods and services, we are gradually making available long-term sites in Kwai Tsing for the development of a logistics cluster. The first of such sites in Tsing Yi was granted through open tender last December. Depending on the market needs and the traffic impact of logistics developments in Kwai Tsing, we plan to release the second site in Tsing Yi in the second half of 2011. Meanwhile, the Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) and relevant Government departments have also been looking into the availability of suitable long-term sites for logistics use in other districts.

     In addition, to facilitate efficient port operations and strengthen Hong Kong's position as an international maritime centre, the Government will continue to provide suitable sites for port back-up uses. As at January this year, we have tendered out over 80 hectares of land in Kwai Tsing under short term tenancy (STT) for such uses. After the commissioning of Route 8 in late 2009, we have identified an additional 30 hectares of land from the former Route 8 construction sites, and have started releasing them to the market in phases under STT for port back-up uses since late 2010. The first site for container vehicles/lorries parking was successfully granted in late December last year. The second site for container storage/cargo consolidation is expected to be granted in March this year.

     We will continue to communicate with the trade with a view to providing more suitable sites in Kwai Tsing and other districts to meet the demands for the long-term development of the industry.

(e) and (f) In response to the increasing demand for berths for barges, the Government has been making efforts to identify more sites for barge berthing in Kwai Tsing. In fact, apart from those barge berths set up within the container terminals by the operators, the Government has identified and granted four other sites for barge berthing use near the container terminals. Of the four sites, one is located in the north of Container Terminal No. 9 and the other three are in southern Tsing Yi. Besides, THB has been examining the feasibility of using two former Route 8 construction sites, which are located on the waterfront of southeast Tsing Yi and the western side of Stonecutters Island respectively, for barge berthing purpose in consultation with the trade and relevant Government departments.

     As regards the provision of large cranes and other on-shore facilities at the barge berthing sites as well as the application of relevant information technology, it has been the established practice for the operators to decide on and make the necessary arrangements having regard to their own operational needs. As for the operation hours, only the barge berthing site in the north of Container Terminal No. 9 is subject to restrictions due to its proximity to dwellings. The other three sites have no such restrictions.

     Furthermore, the Stonecutters Island Public Cargo Working Area adjacent to the Kwai Chung Container Terminal can also be used for loading and unloading of cargoes by barges.

Ends/Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Issued at HKT 12:02


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