Gazettal of commencement notice of Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (Co-location) Ordinance
Section 1(2) of the Ordinance provides that the Ordinance will come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Transport and Housing by notice published in the Gazette. As stated by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to the relevant Bills Committee during the local legislative process, the HKSAR Government understands that the Mainland personnel need to conduct final preparatory works at the West Kowloon Station Mainland Port Area (MPA) prior to the commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL, such as ensuring that all requisite materials have been delivered to the MPA and familiarising themselves with the relevant operational procedures. The HKSAR Government needs to consider whether it would be necessary for the Ordinance to come into operation in a short period of time before the commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL, so as to ensure that the West Kowloon Station MPA can operate smoothly after the commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL.
Upon detailed discussion with the Mainland, the Secretary for Transport and Housing decided to appoint September 4, 2018 as the day on which the Ordinance will come into operation to dovetail with the commissioning of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL in the same month. With effect from 00.00 on September 4, 2018, for the purposes of the application of laws and the delineation of jurisdiction in the MPA, the Mainland will exercise jurisdiction over the non-reserved matters as defined in the Ordinance in accordance with the Co-operation Arrangement between the Mainland and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the Establishment of the Port at the West Kowloon Station of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link for Implementing Co-location Arrangement and the laws of the Mainland. Personnel from the Mainland Authorities Stationed at the Mainland Port Area will also work in the West Kowloon Station MPA to make final preparations for the implementation of the co-location arrangement. As stated in the decision of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on December 27, 2017, these personnel shall not enforce the law in any area outside the West Kowloon Station MPA.
Starting from the same day (i.e. also with effect from 00.00 on September 4, 2018), the Hong Kong Port Area within the West Kowloon Station will also be declared, in accordance with the provisions of the Co-operation Arrangement, as a cross-boundary restricted area by the MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) by notice published in the Gazette pursuant to the laws of the HKSAR (i.e. Mass Transit Railway By-laws (Cap 556B)). The aforementioned notice to declare the cross-boundary restricted area will also be gazetted tomorrow.
With the implementation of the Ordinance and the cross-boundary restricted area arrangement, persons who enter or leave the two port areas shall produce the cross-boundary restricted area permits issued by the MTRCL, and shall undergo clearance procedures of both sides. This arrangement will assist the clearance departments of both sides to better familiarise themselves with the actual operation of the West Kowloon Station Port in preparation for the formal commencement of operation of the Hong Kong Section of the XRL on September 23, 2018, and to conduct clearance procedures for passengers in a smooth manner, thereby unleashing the full benefits of the XRL in terms of speed and convenience.
To enhance the public's understanding of the co-location arrangement, the HKSAR Government has produced a booklet entitled "Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link Co-location Arrangement - What You Need to Know" to inform the public on various matters requiring their attention as high-speed rail passengers or staff working within the MPA. The booklet is available at the Home Affairs Enquiry Centres of the Home Affairs Department and can be downloaded from the Transport and Housing Bureau's website (www.thb.gov.hk).
Ends/Thursday, August 30, 2018
Issued at HKT 17:33
Issued at HKT 17:33