Guangdong province will allow private vehicles from the neighboring Macao Special Administrative Region to drive across the border starting in January, a senior traffic official said on Tuesday.
Macao drivers can enter and exit Guangdong multiple times within a year after applying for an entry permit, said Deng Zhengyu, director of the traffic administration bureau with Guangdong Provincial Department of Public Security.
The decision was based on the Administrative Measures on Macao Vehicles to Enter and Exit the Mainland via the Highway Port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, which took effect on Tuesday.
"The new measures are estimated to benefit more than 80,000 car owners and drivers from Macao," said Deng at a news conference in Guangzhou on Tuesday.
"After Macao residents have successfully applied for the entry permit, they are allowed to enter Guangdong only through the highway port of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge and the cars from Macao can stay in the province for up to 30 days each time and for up to 180 days in a year," he said.
The cars from Macao are not allowed to leave Guangdong, he added.
"Starting 2 pm on Tuesday, Macao residents who are 18 years or older can apply for a Macao private car entry permit to Guangdong province if they already have a travel document for Hong Kong and Macao residents for the mainland.
"There are no restrictions, including investment, tax payment and other conditions, on applying for the car entry permit."
The opening-up will help further strengthen personnel exchanges between Guangdong and Macao, enrich the economic and social development of both sides and promote and accelerate the construction and development of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
It will also help Hong Kong and Macao better integrate into the overall situation of national development, he added.
Xie Rong, deputy director of the Zhuhai Frontier Inspection Station, said border inspection authorities have promoted data sharing, studied and simplified the border inspection filing procedures to realize paperless border inspections to facilitate Macao's vehicles to enter and exit the mainland.
"Border inspection authorities have made all the preparations for the vehicles from Macao to enter and exit the province, as border inspection officers have been trained to handle the surge of vehicles that operate across the border to Guangdong in the weeks to come," he said.