Queuing at immigration clearance at airports and ports across the world is a headache that most of us can relate to. It can take hours to pass border security at peak times.
But the Shanghai border agency is aiming to change this, introducing a new e-pass at two international cruise ports.
No queueing, and no entry or exit stamps. You just need to scan your passport and fingerprints, and you are free to go. Welcome to the new electronic clearance system at Shanghai's Wusongkou International Cruise Terminal.
Yu Lu, a traveller said:"It is very fast and convenient. You just need to scan the passport, press your finger when you enter, and face the camera."
"It only takes less than 20 seconds for me to go through, but people using the immigration desks still need to queue for a while," said Wang Zhe, another traveller.
The border agency has introduced 26 e-pass channels in 2 international cruise ports in Shanghai. Passengers with the electronic passport, or passport linked to a fingerprint record, can use the service. In 2014, the number of inbound tourists hit 8 millions, while the outbound number reached 2.3 million.
"1.6 million cruise passengers passed through the Shanghai Port in 2015. Passengers are expected to hit 2.9 million in 2016, which is a big jump from last year.
"So we need to introduce a more efficient and convenient service for them," said Lu Weibing, Chief Director of Pujiang Station of Immigration Inspection.
Shanghai is determined to develop the cruise economy. Authorities hope the new measure will encourage more people to enjoy the excitement of cruising, and spur the development of the industry.
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