Macao law applies in an area within Hengqin Port from stroke of midnight today

The Director of the Public Security Forces Affairs Bureau, Ms Kok Fong Mei, and the Director of the Administration Committee of Guangdong Pilot Free Trade Zone Hengqin Area, Mr Wu Chuangwei, officiate at the handover ceremony of the Macao area within the Hengqin Port.

A designated area within the new Hengqin Port in Zhuhai is now governed by Macao law, with effect from after the stroke of midnight today.

The application of Macao jurisdiction over a part of the new Hengqin Port is considered to be of great significance in terms of strengthening the interconnectivity of infrastructure linking Macao and the mainland.

Once construction of the new Hengqin Port is completed, the facility will provide greater convenience of movement for Macao people either working, living, or making investments in Hengqin. The facility will promote higher economic efficiency and a convenient flow of the human talent and goods necessary for enhancement of productivity. This will in turn advance the development of a proposed “intensive cooperation zone” in Hengqin involving Guangdong Province and Macao.

A ceremony to mark Macao’s jurisdictional responsibilities over the Macao area within the Hengqin Port was held In the early hours of this morning at the passenger-clearance building of the Hengqin Port.

After the ceremony, several Macao agencies – the Macao Customs, Macao’s Public Security Police Force, the Fire Services Bureau and the Judiciary Police – took possession of facilities comprising the Macao portion of the Hengqin Port area. This was in order for those agencies to be able to perform their duties regarding maintenance of boundary security and public safety.

The Macao area within the new Hengqin Port is not yet open to the public. Currently to get to Hengqin from Macao, members of the public can use the existing Lotus Flower Bridge Checkpoint.

Handover to Macao of part of the new Hengqin Port is scheduled to take place in three phases. The first phase of handover – conducted this morning – involved a gross area of 66,428 square metres. Facilities there that are now under Macao jurisdiction include a passenger-clearance building; an emergency-evacuation platform serving the arrival and departure halls; and the main span of the Lotus Flower Bridge – a structure that was previously managed by the mainland authorities.

The second phase of handover will cover: roadways for cargo and passenger vehicles; an inspection hall for passengers in vehicles using the boundary crossing point; and a bridge connecting the University of Macau to the new Hengqin Port. The Zhuhai Government anticipated the construction of the bridge to the University would be completed by 2021.

The third phase of handover will involve an area reserved for an extension to Macao’s Light Rapid Transit system that will serve Hengqin Port.

The State Council approved on 2 March, 2020 that a designated area within the Hengqin Port and certain other adjacent areas would be under Macao jurisdiction from 18 March. Macao’s Legislative Assembly passed on 16 March local legislation about the application of Macao’s jurisdiction in those areas.

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