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Thursday, Apr 25, 2024

Guangdong to boost car-inspection measures

Guangdong to boost car-inspection measures

Guangdong authorities will launch measures to cope with surging demand for car inspections as only one service supplier is currently available in Hong Kong, ahead of the applications for the northbound travel for Hong Kong vehicles scheme launching next month, Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu said.
China Inspection Company in Yuen Long is presently the sole facility to offer car inspection services for all cross-border vehicles, and bookings are full until July.

Lee acknowledged the rise in demand for car inspections. "I've requested the Transport and Logistics Bureau to communicate with corresponding mainland authorities that we should prepare to cope with demands for car checks," he said, adding that mainland authorities had some ideas to smooth things out.

"The authorities will keep a close eye on the situation."

His remarks came as motorists voiced their concerns on CIC's limited capacities, calling on authorities to include more facilities in the scheme.

"It's not enough to only have one service provider," a truck driver said. "I had been trying to book an online appointment for my truck for two months since March 2.

"They should assign an inspection center for each vehicle type. Trucks go here, buses go there, and another place for private cars."

Hong Kong Automobile Association president Ringo Lee Yiu-pui said the CIC can only inspect 300 cars daily.

He said the Transport Department also requires vehicles six years old or above to undergo safety inspections annually and suggested authorities combine the two requirements to allow vehicles having passed the safety checks to qualify as cross-border vehicles. "That would ease much of the CIC's burden," he said.

Guangdong and SAR authorities announced the new scheme to let Hong Kong motorists drive their vehicles to Guangdong via the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge from July 1, with applications to open on June 1.

Some 450,000 Hong Kong cars - more than half of the 820,000 registered vehicles - will be eligible for the scheme, but only 200 applications will be handled each working day in the first week of June and 300 daily from the second week.

Slots will be allocated through computer balloting.

Motorists can travel anywhere in Guangdong but they must not stay for more than 30 consecutive days upon each entry, while the cumulative stay within a year cannot exceed 180 days.

A daily cap on the number of cross-border vehicles will apply, and drivers must book a quota at least half a month in advance.

Legislative Council's Panel on Transport chairman Ben Chan Han-pan said the daily quota for northbound vehicles should initially be set at 2,000. He also suggested authorities to extend the scheme to other land borders such as the Liantang/Heung Yuen Wai control point.

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