017/15 Hong Kong Legislative Council Approves Air Pollution Control Regulation

19 March 2015

Hong Kong Legislative Council Approves Air Pollution Control Regulation

The Hong Kong Legislative Council has approved the “Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation” which prohibits the use of certain fuels by vessels while they are at berth in Hong Kong waters.

The Regulation will effectively apply to vessels of 500 gross tons and above certificated under the SOLAS Convention. There are limited exclusions, such as for warships, vessels operating exclusively within river trade limits or entering Hong Kong waters solely for certain emergency situations.

At berth is broadly defined as “a place in the waters of Hong Kong at which the vessel is not underway.”

No later than one hour after arrival at berth (and no earlier than one hour prior to departure), the vessel will be required to switch to a marine fuel with sulfur content not exceeding 0.5% by weight, liquefied natural gas or any other fuel approved by the air pollution control authority.

Certain exemptions are permitted, such as when an approved equivalent arrangement is being employed (i.e. exhaust gas cleaning system) or if compliance will pose a risk to the safety of the vessel. Application for approval of such exemptions shall be submitted in writing at least 14 days prior to the date on which the vessel is intended to enter Hong Kong waters.

Recordkeeping requirements are also prescribed to document fuel changeover operations, arrival and departure information in a log book. Such log entries and bunker delivery notes must be retained on board the vessel for a period of three years. This Regulation will come into effect on 1 July 2015.

Source: Courtesy of ABS


Thank you & Best Regards,

Eng. Dimitrios Nikolaos Spanos
Lead Maritime Auditor / Principal Surveyor
Member of IRCA, IIMS, ELINT, HELMEPA & Nautical Institute

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