Boundary Joint Command Centre
Immigration Department, Hong Kong Police Force, Customs and
Excise Department

Exemplary Services@Gov
2009

Enhancing Clearance Efficiencyy

Before the implementation of the Individual Visit Scheme in 2003, the Immigration Department (ImmD), the Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF), and the Customs and Excise Department (C&ED) were aware that cross-boundary passenger and vehicular traffic would continue to increase. Without injection of additional resources, a Boundary Joint Command Centre was set up at the Lo Wu Control Point to enhance clearance efficiency through the cooperation between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. Since then, the average waiting time of over 98% of passengers at different boundary control points is no more than 30 minutes. This is the result of the concerted efforts of the departments.

A Flexible and Practical Approach

The establishment of the Joint Command Centre is a new attempt requiring cross-boundary and inter-departmental co-operation. It is also the best illustration of how cross-boundary passenger and vehicular flows can be handled flexibly and practically. Before long holidays, the Relevant authorities of Hong Kong and Shenzhen will forecast the number of cross-boundary passengers and make a risk assessment having regard to the circumstances and the movement trend of passengers at that time. Departments will discuss and finalise action plans at the Joint Working Sub-group on Festival Cross Boundary Passengers Arrangement Meeting, and maintain close liaison with the immigration and customs authorities of Shenzhen when the Joint Command Centre is in operation.

The situation of boundary control points is monitored through CCTV at the Joint Command Centre. On "red" (high risk) days, the commanders of the Relevant departments will give direct command to their respective units to promptly deploy staff and implement contingency plans to cope with the situation. Mr CHIU See-wai, Sectional Commander (Lo Wu) Operations Support, ImmD, said, "During departure peaks, we will activate contra-flow measure and divert departing passengers to arrival halls where counters will be converted for departure purpose. Also, the Transport Department and the Mass Transit Railway Corporation will assist to disseminate messages and co-ordinate with parties concerned to speed up clearance of the passenger flow."

Enhancing Cooperation on the Basis of Mutual Benefits

Ms TAM So-ying, Divisional Commander (Lo Wu) of the C&ED, said, "We all work hard to meet our departments' enforcement objectives and the broad principle of the Joint Command Centre to ensure smooth clearance of passengers. We also jointly conduct inter-departmental drills, exchange information with the mainland authorities and mobilise resources among different control points. All this will continuously enhance the inter-agency collaboration in clearance efficiency and law enforcement effectiveness at land boundary control points."

Mr LIU Ki-sun, Officer in Charge, Lo Wu and Man Kam To Control Point (Ta Kwu Ling) of the HKPF, said, "We not only see effective communication between departments in clearance-related work, but also in major events. For example, the establishment of the Joint Command Centre has helped enhance inter-departmental co-operation in stepping up security measures during the Olympic Games period last year."

Mr CHIU See-wai, Sectional Commander (Lo Wu) Operations Support, ImmD (middle), said that the three departments sought to enhance co-operation by employing their expertise on the basis of a common goal. To his left is Ms TAM So-ying, Divisional Commander (Lo Wu), C&ED and to his right, Mr LIU Ki-sun, Officer in Charge, Lo Wu and Man Kam To Control Point (Ta Kwu Ling), HKPF.
The three departments monitor the passenger flow at different locations of various boundary control points at the Joint Command Centre.
The Joint Command Centre will convene meetings before long holidays to assess the passenger flow and risks involved.
The Joint Command Centre monitors the situation of various boundary control points through CCTV to ensure that corresponding measures can be taken to speed up immigration and customs clearance.