HKSAR and the Mainland signed the Co-operation Arrangement for the XRL co-location arrangement (with photos/video)
The Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, and the Governor of Guangdong Province, Mr Ma Xingrui, signed the Co-operation Arrangement in Hong Kong at noon today, signifying the formal commencement of the "Three-Step Process" by the HKSAR and the Mainland in jointly proceeding with the relevant work for implementing the clearance procedures of the Hong Kong Section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XRL). The HKSAR Government and the Mainland will then jointly seek a decision by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) approving and endorsing the Co-operation Arrangement, and thereafter commence the local legislative process, so as to meet the target of implementing co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon Station upon the commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL in the third quarter of 2018.
Mrs Lam said, "As a cross-boundary high-speed rail, efficient and time-saving clearance procedures are absolutely essential to realising the full potential of the XRL in terms of speed and convenience. Implementing co-location arrangement at the West Kowloon Station would enable passengers to travel between different destinations across the country with ease and convenience, and allow Hong Kong to provide direct high-speed rail service to an increasing number of Mainland cities. This will fully unleash the transport, social and economic benefits of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL".
"I am pleased to sign the Co-operation Arrangement with Governor Ma today and formally commence the 'Three-step Process'. The HKSAR Government will carefully consider the views of different sectors of the Hong Kong community including members of the Legislative Council, and take appropriate follow-up action as we proceed with the work of co-location arrangement with a view to implementing the relevant clearance procedures at the West Kowloon Station in a timely manner."
The key contents of the Co-operation Arrangement are as follows:
- Both sides agree to establish a port at the West Kowloon Station of the HKSAR to implement co-location arrangement whereby both sides will, in accordance with their respective laws, exercise exit and entry regulation, including immigration inspection, customs regulation, and inspection and quarantine measures etc., on departing and arriving persons travelling between the Mainland and the HKSAR, as well as their personal belongings and luggage.
- The West Kowloon Station Port comprises the Hong Kong Port Area and the Mainland Port Area. The Hong Kong Port Area is to be established by the HKSAR and be subject to its jurisdiction in accordance with the laws of the HKSAR and managed as a cross-boundary restricted area. The Mainland Port Area is to be established by the Mainland and be subject to its jurisdiction in accordance with the Co-operation Arrangement and the laws of the Mainland, and the port administration system is to be implemented thereat.
- The Mainland Port Area comprises the designated areas on B2 and B3 levels, the platform areas on B4 level as well as the connecting passageways, and includes the Mainland Clearance Area and back office, the waiting hall for departing passengers, station platforms and the connecting passageways and escalators. The compartments of trains in operation on the XRL within the area of the HKSAR (including trains which are in motion, stationary and during embarkation or disembarkation) are also regarded as part of the Mainland Port Area.
- Immigration inspection authority, customs authority, inspection and quarantine authority, integrated port administration authority and railway police authority stationed by the Mainland will perform duties and functions in the Mainland Port Area in accordance with the laws of the Mainland. They may not enter any area outside the Mainland Port Area to enforce the law, and have no law enforcement powers outside the Mainland Port Area.
- The establishment of the Mainland Port Area does not affect construction rights, rights relating to the performance of construction work, service concession, operation and regulation and control of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL; nor does it affect the rights and benefits regarding assets (including relevant lands as well as movable or immovable assets on these lands) and facilities pertaining to the Hong Kong Section of the XRL. The HKSAR will continue to handle these matters in accordance with the laws of the HKSAR and exercise jurisdiction over these matters in accordance with the Co-operation Arrangement.
- The Co-operation Arrangement provides that the HKSAR exercises jurisdiction (including jurisdiction of the courts) over the following matters in accordance with the laws of the HKSAR:
(a) The performance of duties and functions or matters related to the performance of duties and functions by designated personnel, i.e. holders of valid permit issued by the HKSAR Government or the Hong Kong operator of the XRL who enter the Mainland Port Area or pass through the Mainland Port Area to other places within the West Kowloon Station to carry out duties and functions. Save as stated above, these personnel should comply with the laws of the Mainland inside the Mainland Port Area and be subject to regulation by the Mainland authorities stationed at the Mainland Port Area;
(b) Matters relating to the standards of, and the duties, responsibilities and liabilities concerning, the construction, insurance and design, repair and maintenance of buildings and structures and related facilities (including fire safety; storage facilities of dangerous goods; lifts; escalators; plumbing installations; installations relating to waste and wastewaters; public address systems; ventilation; electricity and energy efficiency etc.), other than facilities and equipment provided by the Mainland authorities stationed at the Mainland Port Area themselves or exclusively used by them in carrying out duties and functions pursuant to the Co-operation Arrangement;
(c) Matters relating to the carrying on of business, related insurance and tax affairs of the Hong Kong operator of the XRL and service provider(s), as well as the tax affairs and employment-related obligations, rights and benefits, protection and insurance of their staff members. Service provider(s) referred to above does not include a provider of services to the Mainland authorities stationed at the Mainland Port Area or to the Mainland operator of the XRL, where such service provider does not carry on business in any area of the HKSAR outside the Mainland Port Area;
(d) Matters relating to the regulation and monitoring of the operational safety of the railway system of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL, as well as matters relating to environmental regulation and control;
(e) Unless the parties by agreement indicate otherwise (whether such agreement is made in writing, orally or through their action), matters pertaining to the contractual or other legal relationships of a civil nature among the following entities or individuals in the Mainland Port Area: the Hong Kong operator of the XRL, contractor(s) of construction works of the West Kowloon Station, material or service provider(s), staff member(s) of the above entities, and XRL passengers;
(f) Matters under the responsibility of the Hong Kong operator of the XRL as provided for in the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link Operating Co-operation Agreement (including any subsequent amendment(s) or supplementary agreement(s) thereto) made between the Hong Kong operator and the Mainland operator of the XRL.
- Except for the matters provided for in paragraphs 5 and 6 above, the Mainland will exercise jurisdiction (including jurisdiction of the courts) over the Mainland Port Area in accordance with the Co-operation Arrangement and the laws of the Mainland with effect from the date of commissioning of the Mainland Port Area. In handling those matters which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Mainland, for the purposes of the application of the laws of the Mainland and the laws of the HKSAR and the delineation of jurisdiction (including jurisdiction of the courts), the Mainland Port Area will be regarded as being situated in the Mainland.
- Both sides agree to set up a port liaison and coordination mechanism to ensure the safe, smooth and efficient operation of the Mainland Port Area and its effective regulation. In addition, both sides agree to set up an emergency handling mechanism to assist the Mainland in handling sudden or emergency incidents which may occur in the Mainland Port Area in the course of operation.
Since the detailed provisions of the Co-operation Arrangement need to be submitted to the NPCSC for consideration at its meeting in December this year, the text of the Co-operation Arrangement cannot be disclosed to the public at this stage. The HKSAR Government will disclose the full text of the Co-operation Arrangement for public information after the NPCSC makes a decision approving and endorsing the Co-operation Arrangement.
Ends/Saturday, November 18, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:20
Issued at HKT 12:20
Audio / Video
Signing Ceremony for Co-operation Arrangement on Establishment of the Port at West Kowloon Station of XRL for Implementing Co-location Arrangement