No Departure Tax For Hong Kong
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Hong Kong's Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
Professor KC Chan says it is not appropriate to introduce a 'Boundary
Facilities Improvement Tax' now, adding that the government needs to
consider carefully whether it is appropriate to impose additional
departure tax on passengers leaving for Macau.
Responding to lawmakers' questionson March 10, he said the
government introduced the Boundary Facilities Improvement Tax Bill into
the Legislative Council (LegCo) in 2003.
"At that time, there were quite extensive views in both the LegCo
and the community that the proposal would add to the burden of frequent
commuters between the Mainland and Hong Kong. They considered that the
proposal would affect adversely the growing integration between Hong
Kong and the Mainland as well as the economic recovery at the time.
Hence, they opposed the Government's proposal," Chan explained.
"In view of that, the government subsequently decided not to take
forward the relevant legislative work. Given the same considerations,
we do not think it appropriate to put forward the proposal again now,"
On the suggestion of imposing an additional departure tax on
passengers leaving for Macau, he said from a revenue-generating
perspective, it is quite unlikely that this type of tax could bring
about substantial revenue if it is set at a level the general public
The embarkation fee payable by cross-boundary ferry operators to the
Marine Department is not a type of tax but a fee to recover the costs
the government incurs in providing terminal facilities and
related services, Chan said. The estimated revenue from embarkation fee
for 2009-10 is around HKD125m (USD16.1m).
"We will continue to study options on broadening the tax base," he