Hong Kong to adopt a raft of IMO requirements

The Hong Kong Government has announced its intent to adopt a number of training and environmental measures introduced by the International Maritime Organisation including training requirements for crew on Hong Kong registered ships navigating polar waters.

A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said, “The proposed Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Ships Operating in Polar Waters) Regulation mandates all seafarers serving on Hong Kong-registered ships operating in polar waters to receive relevant training and obtain the necessary certificates.”

The Legislative Council Panel on Economic Development and the Shipping Consultative Committee of the Marine Department have been consulted. Members supported the legislative proposal.

The legislative proposal was gazetted on 22 February and tabled at the Legislative Council on 27 February for negative vetting.

The Government also proposed to amend the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) Regulation to incorporate the latest requirements of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of the IMO in relation to the prevention of air pollution from ships into local legislation.

A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said, “The proposed amendments include strengthening the requirements on the emission standard of nitrogen oxides in emission control areas, as well as setting up a data collection system for fuel oil consumption of ships.”

The Legislative Council Panel on Economic Development and the Hong Kong Fleet Operation Advisory Committee of the Marine Department have been consulted. Members supported the legislative proposal.

The legislative proposal was gazetted on 22 February and tabled at the Legislative Council on 27 February for negative vetting.

Finally, the Government proposed introducing a new regulation under the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) Ordinance and amend the Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Passenger Ships – Training) Regulation to incorporate the latest seafarers’ training requirements under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers of the IMO into local legislation.

A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said, “The new Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Ships Using Low-flashpoint Fuels) Regulation makes it compulsory for seafarers working on those ships to receive training in handling low-flashpoint fuels and obtain relevant training certificates. The amended Merchant Shipping (Seafarers) (Passenger Ships – Training) Regulation requires that emergency plans and mustering procedures of ships must be included in crowd management training for seafarers working on passenger ships to ensure that those seafarers will have the knowledge and ability to deal with emergency situations.”

The Legislative Council Panel on Economic Development and the Shipping Consultative Committee of the Marine Department have been consulted. Members supported the legislative proposal.

​The legislative proposal was gazetted on 22 February and tabled at the Legislative Council on 27 February for negative vetting.

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