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Application of information technology to enhance efficiency of import and export of goods
2014-11-20

Following is a question by the Hon Charles Peter Mok and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council today (November 20):

Question:

It is learnt that an electronic platform known as “Port Community System” (PCS) has been established in Europe. PCS connects the systems of public and private organisations relating to the freight industry forming an airport, seaport or inland port community, with the aim of co-ordinating logistics processes and enhancing operational efficiency. Regarding the application of information technology to enhance the efficiency of import and export of goods in Hong Kong, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether at present, there is an electronic platform similar to the aforesaid PCS in Hong Kong for the exchange of information between government departments and the freight industry, as well as delivery of services such as logistics and electronic customs clearance, etc; if there is such a platform, of the details; if not, whether communication mechanisms have been established among the Hong Kong International Airport, various container terminals and land boundary control points at present, and of the relevant details; and

(2) whether it has assessed if Hong Kong’s management systems on import and export of goods meet the standard of a “Single Window System” as advocated by various international trade organisations (i.e. a facility that allows the one-stop processing of all related work, such as import and export documentations, quarantine and transactions, etc); if the assessment outcome is in the affirmative, of the details; if the assessment outcome is in the negative, the actions that the authorities will take to bring Hong Kong’s management systems on import and export of goods up to that standard?

Reply:

President,

In relation to the question by Hon Charles Peter Mok, after consulting the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, our reply is as follows:

(1) Hong Kong does not maintain any electronic platform similar to the “Port Community System”. Nevertheless, solely in respect of cargo clearance, the relevant systems of the Customs and Excise Department, including the “Air Cargo Clearance System” and “Road Cargo System”, are connected to the different control points (including the Hong Kong International Airport, container terminals and land boundary control points). This enables the Department to identify transhipment cargoes. If such cargoes are conveyed by registered trucks equipped with e-locks and global positioning systems (that meet the required specifications), they will normally be subject to inspection only at either the entry or exit control point. This helps avoid repeated examination.

(2) A “Trade Single Window” advocated by international organisations such as the World Trade Organization refers to a facility that allows parties to lodge documents and information with a single entry point to fulfil import, export and transit-related regulatory requirements. At present, the “Government Electronic Trading Services” (GETS) provide a front-end system for the trading community to submit documents including import and export declaration, electronic manifest (for air and sea modes) as well as applications for dutiable commodities permits and certificates of origin. The Government is considering the further development of GETS to facilitate imports and exports. A study topic is exactly about how to meet the standards of a “Trade Single Window”.
Ends/Thursday, November 20, 2014
Issued at HKT 15:01

Office Of Hon. Charles Mok, Legislative Councillor (IT)