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New link and smoother flow at border
By Chen Hong (China Daily)

SHENZHEN: Customs teams at Shenzhen Bay Port are making final preparations ahead of the scheduled opening of a new Hong Kong border crossing on Sunday.

Immigration and customs clearance facilities will be co-located at the port, the first control point between Shenzhen and Hong Kong to do so.

Customs officials will number more than 400, with 36 specialist anti-smuggling officials, Zou Zhiwu, director of Shenzhen Customs, said.

The customs authorities of mainland and Hong Kong signed a cooperative memorandum and four practice guidelines on Thursday to ensure the smooth crossing of people and cargo and strengthen their efforts on anti-smuggling.

They plan to set up coordination centers for border-crossing affairs and anti-smuggling.

The Shenzhen Bay Port and the Shenzhen Bay Bridge, also known as the Hong Kong-Shenzhen Western Corridor, will open to the public on Sunday, this weekend, from 6 pm, following a ceremony at noon.

President Hu Jintao, who arrived in Hong Kong on Friday for the 10th anniversary of the special administrative region, is expected to attend.

The 5.5 km Shenzhen Bay Bridge is the fourth vehicular boundary crossing between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It links the new control point at the Shenzhen Bay Port in Shekou with Ngau Hom Shek in the northwest New Territories.

Passengers can cross the boundary through the new crossing by coach, franchised buses, green minibuses or taxis.

The port operating hours are 6:30 am to midnight, but could be increased in the future if needed.

It is expected that daily two-way traffic and passenger flows will number 29,800 vehicles and 30,800 people during initial periods. Those numbers are expected to double by 2016.


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