Automated Passenger Clearance System – “e-channel”

December, 2004


The Hong Kong Immigration Department, with effect from the 16th December, 2004, introduced an Automated Passenger Clearance System, also referred to as the ‘e-channel’ at the Lo Wu Control Point Departure Hall. The e-channel allows Hong Kong Permanent Residents aged 11 or above, holding smart identity cards, to carry out self-service departure clearance!

How the e-channel works:

1. Insert your smart identity card with the side marked with the arrow and the electronic chip into the card reader.
2. The card reader performs a mutual verification with the smart identity card key.
3. The gate doors to the e-channel open upon successful automatic verification.
4. Once at the e-channel, place your thumbs’ flat on the centre of scanner deployed at the e-channel section for fingerprint verification process.
5. Upon successful fingerprint verification, leave the e-channel to exit into Shenzhen.

Note: Those persons who have had their smart identity cards collected by a third party will have to activate their smart identity cards by verifying their fingerprinting at the self-service kiosks before using the e-channel.

Fingerprint verification is undertaken to authenticate a person’s identity. In the event that any other fingers are used for the initial registration of the Smart Identity Card, then only those fingers should be used for fingerprint verification at the e-channels. Those who encounter difficulties in the fingerprint verification process may use the traditional counters for clearance in order to avoid delay. If your fingers are too wet or dry or placed in the wrong position on the scanner, this may lead to difficulties in the verification process.

There will only be a small number of e-channels to begin with. This is to allow users to familiarize themselves with the process. However, the Immigration Department plans to deploy more e-channels in phases based on the feedback received from the public who use the initial e-channels at the Lo Wu Control Point.