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Rules on moving pets between Macao and Hengqin are about to change

New customs rules come into effect on 1 March, making life easier for people commuting between the SAR and Hengqin island.

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From next month, Macao residents who work, study or live in Hengqin will be able to transport their pets over the border without applying for an import licence or making any formal declarations, TDM reports

The change, announced over the weekend, is part of the 1 March implementation of Hengqin’s autonomous customs zone. The new system is designed to make it easier for people, goods, capital and information to move between the SAR and Hengqin – a district of the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai, which adjoins Macao.

If pets have an International Vaccination Certificate, an electronic microchip from the Municipal Affairs Bureau, and a valid travel endorsement issued by the bureau, they will be permitted to cross the border when accompanied by their owners.

[See more: More than 11,000 people from Macao live and work in the Hengqin area now]

Hengqin is becoming increasingly important to space-starved Macao as a place for both work and living. Beijing has forecast that around 120,000 people from Macao – about a quarter of the current population – will be living in Hengqin by 2035. About 11,000 Macao residents currently live there, and that number is expected to almost double by the end of 2024.

As integration deepens with Hengqin – formally known as the “Guangdong-Macao In-Depth Cooperation Zone” – new ferry services have been proposed. The University of Macau has also announced plans to build a second campus on the island. 

Meanwhile, a 700,000-square-metre so-called “science city” is currently under construction in Hengqin. When finished it will have the capacity to accommodate 75,000 workers and 25,000 residents. The development will offer a home to growing sectors such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, biomedical research and pharmaceuticals.

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