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Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels)(Fuel at Berth) Regulation (the Regulation) Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is meant by “berth”?

Q2. Is the Regulation applicable to vessels which berth at anchorage only for bunkering?

Q3. Does an ocean going vessel need to switch to compliant fuel when it passes through Hong Kong waters?

Q4. If an ocean going vessel moves from berth A to berth B, is it required to use compliant fuel during this transition period?

Q5. Are heavy fuel, marine diesel oil and marine gas oil with sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% compliant fuels?

Q6. Will exemption be granted to an ocean going vessel without compliant fuel because such product is not available in the previous ports it called?

Q7.  If an ocean going vessel does not have compliant fuel on board, can it bunker compliant fuel after arriving Hong Kong?

Q8. Will any grace period be granted for non-compliance with the Regulation?

Q9. Is it necessary to use a dedicated log book on board for record of the particulars specified in the Regulation?

Q10.  What are the boundaries of the Hong Kong waters within which the Regulation is applicable?

Q11. Is the test method specified in the Regulation i.e. EN ISO 14596:2007, the only method that should be used for determination of sulphur content of marine fuel?

Q12. How will the Regulation be enforced?

Q13. Is lifeboat engine required to switch to cleaner fuel while testing in the waters of Hong Kong?

Q14. If an OGV takes 3 hours for switching from heavy fuel oil to low sulphur marine fuel, are there any provisions in the Regulation to cater for this situation?

Q15. Is it necessary to switch fuel for the main engines?

 

Q1. What is meant by “berth”?

A1. Berth means as a place in the waters of Hong Kong at which a vessel is not underway.  Any location in the waters of Hong Kong can be a berth as long as the vessel is not underway. Some common examples of berth are container terminals, cruise terminals, wharf, buoys, anchorages, etc.

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Q2. Is the Regulation applicable to vessels which berth at anchorage only for bunkering?

A2. The Regulation is applicable to any ocean going vessel moored or anchored at any place in the waters of Hong Kong, including those at anchorage only for bunkering purpose.

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Q3. Does an ocean going vessel need to switch to compliant fuel when it passes through Hong Kong waters?

A3. No, the Regulation is not applicable to a vessel which is not moored or anchored.

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Q4. If an ocean going vessel moves from berth A to berth B, is it required to use compliant fuel during this transition period?

A4. The Regulation is not applicable to a vessel which is not moored or anchored.  The vessel does not have to use compliant fuel while moving between berths.

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Q5. Are heavy fuel, marine diesel oil and marine gas oil with sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% compliant fuels?

A5. Any marine fuel with sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% by weight is a compliant fuel.  Heavy fuel, marine diesel oil and marine gas oil with sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% are compliant fuels.

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Q6. Will exemption be granted to an ocean going vessel without compliant fuel because such product is not available in the previous ports it called?

A6. The Regulation does not empower the Authority to grant any exemption on grounds other than use of technology which is at least as effective as using low sulphur fuel in reducing sulphur dioxide emission or risk to the safety of vessels. No exemption will be granted for ocean going vessels visiting Hong Kong without compliant fuel. It is the responsibility of the owner and master of the vessel to ensure that the vessel is provided with sufficient amount of compliant fuel before visiting Hong Kong.

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Q7.  If an ocean going vessel does not have compliant fuel on board, can it bunker compliant fuel after arriving Hong Kong?

A7.  All ocean going vessels should ensure that they have sufficient amount of compliant fuel before visiting Hong Kong.

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Q8. Will any grace period be granted for non-compliance with the Regulation?

A8. No grace period will be given.  The Government consulted the shipping trade and other stakeholders about mandating ocean going vessels to use cleaner fuel while berthing in 2013 and kept them updated of the legislative progress.  All ocean going vessels are required to comply with the requirements with effect from 1 July 2015.

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Q9. Is it necessary to use a dedicated log book on board for record of the particulars specified in the Regulation?

A9. The Regulation does not specify the format of the log book used to record the particulars specified in the Regulation. The important point is that all the particulars specified in the Regulation must be recorded and kept on board for 3 years. The vessel may use any log book it considers appropriate.

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Q10.  What are the boundaries of the Hong Kong waters within which the Regulation is applicable?

A10.  The Regulation is applicable to the whole Hong Kong Waters.  The coordinates of the boundaries of Hong Kong Waters can be found at the following website:

               http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_ind.nsf/CurAllEngDoc/F346D7A4FFE6A272482575EE000E9312?OpenDocument

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Q11. Is the test method specified in the Regulation i.e. EN ISO 14596:2007, the only method that should be used for determination of sulphur content of marine fuel?

A11. The test method EN ISO 14596:2007 is the only method that the Government will use to determine the sulphur content of marine fuel for the purpose of checking compliance with the Regulation. If the ship owner, masters or marine fuel oil supplier wish to check the sulphur of their fuel, they may use any testing method considered appropriate.

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Q12. How will the Regulation be enforced?

A12. Enforcement of the Regulation will be carried out by staff of Environmental Protection Department. Surprise inspection will be made to ensure compliance with the Regulation. While the actual enforcement actions may vary depending on the actual situation, the enforcement team will normally check the log book, inspect the specified machinery and/or their control panel. The team may also take fuel oil samples.

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Q13. Is lifeboat engine required to switch to cleaner fuel while testing in the waters of Hong Kong?

A13.  The lifeboat equipped in an ocean going vessel has to be transferred to the sea for testing or life-saving purpose. Its engine is for propulsion of the lifeboat. The lifeboat itself is an independent vessel and is not regarded as an auxiliary engine of the ocean going vessel. Lifeboat is not subject to the control of the Regulation.

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Q14. If an OGV takes 3 hours for switching from heavy fuel oil to low sulphur marine fuel, are there any provisions in the Regulation to cater for this situation?

A14. The trade has been consulted during the regulation development stage. The trade is confident that 1 hour fuel switching time is sufficient. However, in a rare case where it takes longer than 1 hour to switch fuels, the ship management or master should start fuel switching well in advance to ensure that switching to compliant fuel is completed within the first hour after arrival.

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Q15. Is it necessary to switch fuel for the main engines?

A15. The majority of vessels are equipped with fixed pitch propellers. Their main engines will normally be shut down while at berth.  It is not necessary for these OGVs to conduct fuel switch operation for their main engines which are only used for propulsion. There are however some vessels equipped with controllable pitch propellers and fitted with shaft generators. Their main engines may not be shut down while at berth. If these OGVs use their main engines for any purposes other than propulsion, eg. powering the shaft generator for electricity generation, during the prohibition period, they have to switch to compliant fuel.

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User review date: 
Friday, 25 September, 2015