HONG KONG -- The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today signed a visa-free agreement and a Customs Co-operative Arrangement with the Government of Ukraine at the Government House.
The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, and President of Ukraine, Mr Viktor Yanukovych, witnessed the signing ceremony.
The Secretary for Security, Mr Ambrose S K Lee, on behalf of the HKSAR, signed the Agreement on Mutual Abolition of Visa Requirements with the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr Kostyantyn Gryshchenko.
The agreement provides visa-free access to HKSAR passport holders visiting Ukraine for a stay of up to 14 days.
Likewise, Ukrainian nationals will also enjoy 14 days' visa-free access to Hong Kong. "The agreement will enter into force on November 3, 2010 after completion of the internal procedures," a spokesman for the Security Bureau said.
"We welcome the signing of the agreement. This is a significant step forward for the travel convenience of Hong Kong travelers, which will help promote trade, business and tourism between the HKSAR and Ukraine," he added.
The availability of visa-free access to Ukraine has brought the total number of countries/territories agreeing to grant visa-free access or visa-on-arrival to HK SAR passport holders to 142.
Also at the ceremony, the Commissioner of Hong Kong Customs and Excise, Mr Richard Yuen, signed a Customs Co-operative Arrangement with the Chairman of the State Customs Service of Ukraine, Mr Ihor Kaletnik,regarding co-operation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters with the State Customs Service of Ukraine.
"The signing of the Customs Co-operative Arrangement signifies the mutual commitment and determination of the two customs administrations to enhance co-operation in combating transnational smuggling and criminal activities.
And both parties are committed to co-operating more closely through mutual administrative assistance on matters relating to information exchange and enforcement of Customs laws," the spokesman said.
Hong Kong Customs and Excise has so far signed Customs Co-operative Arrangements with 17 of its counterparts.