The Gongbei Border recorded some 134 million crossings registered in 2018, five per cent more than in the previous year and the largest amount of border crossings registered in China ever, Zhuhai city authorities indicated.
According to the authorities of the neighbouring Chinese city, 2018 was the 7th consecutive year in which the Gongbei Border was the busiest border in China.
The Gongbei Border or Gongbei Port is operated in Zhuhai by the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and the Chinese General Administration of Customs, with local side Border Gate (Portas do Cerco) being under the Macau Customs authority.
Zhuhai authorities considered that optimized clearance procedures and the opening of 50 self-service inspection channels last June helped raise the daily volume of crossings, with border clearance time cut to under 30 minutes.
Some 80 per cent of people using the Gongbei Border were said to have passed through self-service border-crossing lanes which use finger print and facial scanning. This takes on average eight seconds per crossing.
Separate channels for Chinese citizens, foreigners, and services were also added last year.
Macau recorded more than 32.2 million visitor arrivals in the first 11 months of 2018, a
9.1 per cent year-on-year rise. Tourism authorities expected the year to finish with a record 35 million in visitation, with the majority arriving to Macau through the Gongbei Border.
In order to ease traffic through the Gongbei Border, Macau authorities have started foundation works for the new Qingmao Border in Ilha Verde, with efforts also made to attempt and divert traffic to the Lotus Checkpoint in Cotai.