Home > Division of Hawker Affairs
Hawkers, as a profession, have their own economic values and social functions. They exist in most of the “developing countries” and have been in Macao for quite sometime. With a big influx of immigrants settled in Macao during the early 1980s, the city’s socio-economy began to thrive and the number of hawkers in town experienced a gradual increase. In those days, the Portuguese Administration of Macao did not have a specialized administrative department to formulate policies for hawkers and their management. In 1987, the former Municipal Council of Macao had founded the Mobile Hawker Control Team, which was a specialized administrative department to take care of policies and management of hawkers. By then, hawker activities were more systematic and orderly managed. On 1 July, 1996, based on policy consideration, the Team was officially renamed as the Division of Hawker Affairs and this name has remained in use until nowadays.
At the early stage of its establishment, due to its specialized function and as regulated by law, the Mobile Hawker Control Team merely supervise the hawker activities in the Macao peninsula, while those of the island districts fell under the responsibility of the former Islands Municipal Council. After the Return of Macao to the Motherland in 1999, the Municipal Council of Macao and of the Islands (Taipa island and Coloane island) officially merged into the Civic and Municipal Affairs Bureau (IACM) on 1 January 2002 as stipulated by the Basic Law of the Macao Special Administrative Region. By then, the supervision and management of hawker affairs of both Macao and the Islands came under the responsibility of the Division of Hawker Affairs. Accordingly, Macao is divided up into 4 hawker management zones by the Division, namely the Northern, Central, Southern and the Tourist and Islands zones. Across Macao, there are a total of 17 hawker areas and one hawkers’ building (Iao Hon Hawkers’ Building - to be completed and ready for use by the end of 2009). Amongst them, 11 hawker areas, located in the following places, are equipped with fixed-frame canopies: 2nd Street of Iao Hon, the periphery of Iao Hon Municipal Market, Tamagnini Barbosa Municipal Market, Fai Chi Kei district, the periphery of Horta e Mitra Market, the periphery of St. Domingos Municipal Market, Ruins of St Paul’s, Penha Hill, Taipa Market, Four-faced Buddha of Taipa and Hac-Sa Beach of Coloane, while 3 Cooked Food Centres are located inside the municipal markets (Iao Hon Municipal Market, St. Domingos Municipal Market and Praia do Manduco Muncipal Market - to be completed and ready for use during mid 2009). As at the end of 2008, there were a total of 1,200 hawker stalls in Macao (1,162 in the Macao peninsula and 38 in the islands).
Besides overseeing the operation and vending activities of local hawkers, the Division also monitors 80 flower hawkers who come from the Wanzai district of Zhuhai municipality to sell flowers in Macao. The Division supervises the operation of the vending activities of these flower hawkers, who are holders of special permits issued by the Division, and their approved helpers. As to maximize its limited resources, the Division holds 4 ballot sessions (January, April, July and October) annually for vacant hawker stalls to meet public demand.
Since 2002, the Division has set up temporary vendor stalls during traditional Chinese festivals to heighten festive ambience in response to community needs. The number of stalls being installed varies, depending on the performance of the socio-economy at the time. For instance, temporary vendor stalls for sales of incense, joss-sticks and sacrificial offerings are set up along the pedestrian walkways nearby the A-Ma Temple Square and the Pou Chai Buddhist Monastery during the period of the Lunar New year. In assisting the development of tourism of Macao, IACM has organized many featured bazaars (Taipa Weekly Flea Market and Taipa Summer Market) and helped different associations to hold a variety of temporary bazaars during special festivals. The associations can apply to IACM for holding temporary bazaars in appropriate locations during festival holidays or at night. Along with the Division’s functional optimization, it has taken charge of the hawker licensing and respective inspections of the Lunar New Year Market/Fair and of vendor stalls for sales of firecrackers and fireworks since 2003. Looking into the future, the Division shall endeavor in optimizing the management and operational environment of all hawker areas and perfect the monitoring mechanism and measures employed in managing the temporary vendor stalls and bazaars set up during traditional festivals.
＊ To reduce and eliminate the quantity of unlicensed hawkers and their illegal vending activities.
＊ Conduct analysis, research, planning and rearrangement of the supporting facilities and economic functions of existing hawker areas in line with social and urban development aimed to optimize the management of hawker areas.
＊ To adequately increase the number of temporary hawker areas, featured bazaars and temporary vendor stalls set up during festival holidays and to strictly supervise their licensing in favor of assisting tourism development and to meet public demand.
＊ Strict enforcement of existing regulations governing hawkers, prosecution of unlicensed hawkers for their illegal vending activities and effective control of the rate of increase of unlicensed hawkers.
＊ Maintenance of order in the operation of licensed hawkers and monitor the environmental sanitation of all hawker areas in Macao as well as the hygienic conditions of food sold by licensed hawkers.
＊ Propose solutions to improve the operational environment of hawker areas, optimize hawker management and achieve effective control of unlicensed hawkers.
＊ Conduct studies and analysis of proposals pertaining to the setting up of temporary vendor stalls and featured bazaars.
1. Management of Unlicensed Hawkers
Apparently, illegal hawkers exist in all cities, particularly in developing cities and regions. In Macao, it is foreseeable that illegal hawkers shall keep on with their vending while their number fluctuates in line with the performance of the economy. In this respect, the Division of Hawkers Affairs, as always, employs a mixed strategy in its management of unlicensed hawkers, marked by impromptu inspections, pinpoint patrol and inspection plus stationing of staff at major areas to limit the scope of illegal vending by unlicensed hawkers.
2. Regular Ballots for Vacant Hawker Stalls
Every year, the Hawker Affairs Division holds “four ballots” for vacant hawker stalls for those local citizens who intend to engage in hawker business. The application period for participating in the ballots falls on January, April, July and October. The rules of application, information on the quantity of vacant stalls and their location floor plan are posted on the notice board of the Department of Food and Animal Inspection and Control, all the service counters of IACM and all the municipal markets across Macao. Citizens may also visit the homepage of IACM or the City Guide for respective information while the location floor plan (with effective application period specified) of the vacant stalls is updated during each ballot session.
3. Short-Termed Temporary Vendor Stalls Set Up during Traditional Festival Holidays
Annually, temporary vendor stalls and bazaars (e.g. Taipa Flea Market) are set up during the traditional festival holidays of the Lunar New Year period. The Division promotes these featured activities via different channels and media to heighten the festive ambience.
4. Management of Licensed Hawkers
Despite being limited by manpower, the inspection staff of the Division of Hawker Affairs, together with sanitary inspectors, conducts unscheduled on-site sanitary inspections, zonal patrol and inspections as well as large-scale impromptu inspection and subsequent prosecutions to maintain adequate hawker control and deter hawkers from committing any offense. The Division works closely at all time with other relevant departments to improve the business environment of hawker areas (e.g. regular cleaning of hawker areas and the floor, canopies, grease interceptors and supporting facilities of the cooked food centres).
Scope of Services available to the Public
Location of Hawker Areas and Cooked Food Centres across Macao
Hawker Areas & Hawkers’ Building
|2nd Street of Iao Hon||Rua de Cinco de Outubro|
|Periphery of Iao Hon Municipal Market||Periphery of Horta e Mitra Market|
|Tamagnini Barbosa Municipal Market||Periphery of St. Domingos Municipal Market|
|Fai Chi Kei District||Rua da Praia do Manduco|
|Almirante Lacerda Market (Red Market)||Penha Hill|
|Rua da Emenda||Periphery of Taipa Market|
|Rua Fernao Mendes Pinto||Four-faced Buddha, Taipa|
|Travessa da Corda||Hac-Sa Beach, Coloane|
|Ruins of St. Paul’s|
|Iao Hon Hawkers’ Building|
Cooked Food Centres
|Cooked Food Centre of St. Domingos Municipal Market||Cooked Food Centre of Iao Hon Municipal Market|
|Cooked Food Centre in Praia do Manduco Municipal Market|