I refer to the letter by Jeffry Kuperus ("Immigration officers on HK side inflexible ", November 30) concerning his comments on the immigration clearance service at Shenzhen Bay Control Point.
The control point has witnessed an upsurge in passenger traffic in recent years. From January to November this year, a daily average of 88,000 passengers crossed the control point, which is 15 per cent higher than that in 2012. To cope with increasing passengers' traffic, the control point has adopted measures including flexible staff deployment and tightening of leave arrangements. To further enhance its handling capacity, a "contra-flow" arrangement was implemented in mid-2013 to divert arriving passengers to departure hall for clearance.
Moreover, a non-stamping arrangement for visitors was launched in March to shorten the immigration clearance time. A mobile application was also recently introduced to inform the public the estimated waiting time for clearance at boundary control points.
It is hoped that given the information, the public may choose a less busy time to use the control point or use another, less busy control point. However, there may still be bunching situations during certain peak hours and festive holidays when passengers may experience longer queuing time.
For good traffic management, designated "Visitors" and "Hong Kong Resident" counters would normally serve specified passengers. However, our channel supervisors will closely monitor the traffic situation and flexibly deploy staff to operate a different mix of counters to cope with the passenger traffic. A help-through counter is also available for disabled persons, citizens aged 65 or above and passengers with special needs. If passengers encountered difficulties on immigration clearance, they may approach our channel supervisors for assistance.
The Immigration Department is committed to providing efficient and courteous services to the public while maintaining effective immigration control. It is our core value to treat the public with respect, consideration, courtesy and compassion.
We strongly believe that a professional and effective workforce relies on excellent performance and service contributed by each staff member. We work hard to enhance communication skills and the esprit de corps of our staff members as well as to ensure they are fully aware of their roles and responsibility to provide a high-quality service.
Let me assure readers that we accord high priority to facilitating the clearance services. We keep passenger traffic and resources under constant review and will continue to explore ways to further improve our services.
H. T. Heung, for director of immigrationMore on this: