Government's response to enquiries on "Northbound Travel for Hong Kong Vehicles"
The governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong announced at noon today that the Scheme will be open for application from eligible Hong Kong private cars from 9am on June 1 this year, and approved Hong Kong private cars will be allowed to travel between Hong Kong and Guangdong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) starting from 0.00am on July 1.
The Government's early announcement of the implementation time and detailed arrangements of the Scheme today would allow sufficient time for the public to learn about the Scheme, obtain Mainland driving licences and prepare the documents required for application in advance, etc. There is also a one-month interval between application commencement and the start of travel of the approved vehicles, with a view to allowing ample time for more members of the public to orderly complete the relevant application procedures.
To ensure that the Scheme is implemented in an orderly manner, the governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong have agreed to set a cap on the number of applications to be accepted, which will be allocated by computer balloting, at the initial stage of launching the Scheme (200 applications will be accepted per working day in the first week, followed by 300 applications to be accepted per working day from the second week onwards). The Government will review the application situation and progressively increase the number of applications to be accepted as necessary.
As for vehicle examination, the governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong have been devising measures to enhance the examination arrangement while complying with the Mainland regulations. We believe the examination capacity will be sufficient to meet the demand under the Scheme. The governments of the two sides will closely monitor the situation and launch further enhanced measures in a timely manner.
To ensure a better northbound travel experience for the approved applicants, the governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong have also agreed to set a daily cap on the number of northbound vehicles. Applicants who have obtained the relevant licences for the Scheme may book for travelling within a designated period via the online booking system. The HKSAR Government is now in discussion with the Guangdong Provincial Government on the daily cap, and will separately announce the details in due course after reviewing the application situation.
To cope with the upsurge of workload in the first quarter this year, the Transport Department (TD) has implemented a range of measures to expedite the processing of Closed Road Permit (CRP) applications, including streamlining the application procedures, arrangement of staff for overtime work on weekdays and weekends, and deployment and recruitment of additional staff. With the efforts, all applications pending processing have been vetted by end of April this year. Currently, new CRP applications can be completed within five working days as in the past in general, while renewal applications can be completed within one day. To facilitate the implementation of the Scheme, the TD will continue to utilise electronic service, deploy and recruit additional staff, etc. for continued enhancement of the application handling capacity.
As regard the fees for participating in the Scheme, the State Council announced in November last year that eligible Hong Kong private cars under the Scheme are exempted from paying customs duties or applying for guarantee arrangements with Mainland customs, thereby largely reducing the relevant fees. The fees that applicants need to pay include the CRP application to the TD, vehicle examination and buying insurance (i.e. Compulsory Traffic Accident Liability Insurance for Motor Vehicles of the Mainland or "unilateral recognition" insurance policies of Hong Kong) in accordance with the Mainland requirements. The fees will vary subject to the vehicle conditions, duration of policy period, etc. Generally speaking, the fees for a maximum of one-year validity period amount at around 2,000 to 3,000 Hong Kong dollars; while those for one-month validity period amount at around 1,000 Hong Kong dollars.
In the longer term, the governments of Guangdong and Hong Kong will draw on the implementation experience of the Scheme at the HZMB and proactively study the extension of the Scheme to a Shenzhen/Hong Kong land boundary control point, such that Hong Kong private cars can travel to both the eastern and western parts of Guangdong.
Ends/Monday, May 1, 2023
Issued at HKT 23:12
Issued at HKT 23:12