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Air Pollution Control (Fuel for Vessels) Regulation Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why do we require vessels to use compliant fuel within the waters of Hong Kong?

Q2. Which type of vessels are applicable in the Fuel for Vessels Regulation?

Q3. Are heavy fuel, marine diesel oil and marine gas oil with sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% considered as compliant fuels?

Q4. If a vessel does not have any compliant fuel on board before entering the waters of Hong Kong, can it bunker compliant fuel after entering Hong Kong?

Q5. If a vessel needs to switch fuel in order to comply with the Regulation, when should the vessel perform the fuel switch operation?

Q6. What is an ocean going vessel?

Q7. If a vessel has been granted with an exemption under section 6(1)(a) of the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation and the exemption is still in force immediately before 1 January 2019, will the exemption still effective under the Fuel for Vessels Regulation?

Q8. How is the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation (Cap. 311AA) handled when the Fuel for Vessels Regulation is in force?

Q9. How will the Regulation be enforced?

Q10. What are the offences and penalties?

Q11. Is there any defence for an offence of using non-compliant fuel?

 

Q1. Why do we require vessels to use compliant fuel within the waters of Hong Kong?

Marine vessels are the largest local air emission source. We have been pursuing with the Mainland to step up marine emission control in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) region, including the mandatory fuel switch at berth, and in the long run the establishment of a regional emission control area.

To dovetail with the implementation of the domestic emission control area and attain greater environmental benefit, it is necessary to require vessels to use compliant fuel within the waters of Hong Kong.

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Q2. Which type of vessels are applicable in the Fuel for Vessels Regulation?

The requirements in the Fuel for Vessels Regulation are generally divided into two parts.

 

1. Prohibition of use of non-compliant fuel

The prohibition applies to all vessels within the waters of Hong Kong, irrespective of whether they are sailing or berthing.

2. Record in Log Book and Document Keeping

This requirement applies to ocean going vessels within the waters of Hong Kong only.

 

The Regulation does not apply to—

A. a warship or any other vessel on military service;or

B. a vessel that does not carry any compliant fuel but enters the waters of Hong Kong solely for the purpose(s) of reducing risks to safety of the vessel, sheltering from stress of weather, and/or landing a sick or injured person, provided that the owner or the master of the vessel must has notified the Director of Marine of such purpose(s) before the vessel enters the waters of Hong Kong.

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Q3. Are heavy fuel, marine diesel oil and marine gas oil with sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% considered as compliant fuels?

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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Q4. If a vessel does not have any compliant fuel on board before entering the waters of Hong Kong, can it bunker compliant fuel after entering Hong Kong?

All vessels should ensure that they have sufficient amount of compliant fuel for use before visiting Hong Kong.

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Q5. If a vessel needs to switch fuel in order to comply with the Regulation, when should the vessel perform the fuel switch operation?

Before the vessel enters the waters of Hong Kong, the fuel switch operation to compliant fuel should have been completed, in order to ensure that the vessel uses compliant fuel within Hong Kong waters. A fuel switch operation to compliant fuel is completed when the fuel pipes leading to all of the specified machinery of the vessel concerned are filled only with compliant fuel.

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Q6. What is an ocean going vessel?

An ocean going vessel is a vessel that:

(a) holds a certificate in the form prescribed by the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 as amended from time to time;

(b) holds a certificate other than (a) above issued by a government authority of the Mainland permitting it to sail along the coast of the Mainland; or

(c) is of 500 gross tonnage or over and holds a certificate other than (a) or (b) above issued by a government authority of a place outside Hong Kong.

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Q7. If a vessel has been granted with an exemption under section 6(1)(a) of the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation and the exemption is still in force immediately before 1 January 2019, will the exemption still effective under the Fuel for Vessels Regulation?

For the above situation, the exemption continues to have effect on and after 1 January 2019 as if it had been granted under section 7(1)(a) of the Fuel for Vessels Regulation, and expires on the original expiry date of the exemption. From 1 January 2019, if the vessel would like to rely on the exemption when it enters the waters of Hong Kong, the vessel is required to use the emission reduction technology within the waters of Hong Kong, until it exits Hong Kong waters.

The exemption under the above situation may not be renewed on its expiry. A new application for exemption should be made under the section 9 of the Fuel for Vessels Regulation. For the application of exemption, please visit A Guide to the Air Pollution Control (Fuel for Vessels) Regulation

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Q8. How is the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation (Cap. 311AA) handled when the Fuel for Vessels Regulation is in force?

When the Fuel for Vessels Regulation takes effect, it will cover the scope of control under Cap.311AA. Therefore the Cap.311AA would be repealed upon the implementation of the Fuel for Vessels Regulation.

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Q9. How will the Regulation be enforced?

Enforcement of the Regulation will be carried out by staff of the 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. Fuel oil sample may be taken for sulphur content analysis.

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Q10. What are the offences and penalties?

The offences of the regulation and its maximum penalty are listed as below.

Offences

Maximum Penalty

Using non-compliant fuel within the waters of Hong Kong

A fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for 6 months

Failing to record the required particulars in the log book without reasonable excuse

A fine at level 5 (i.e. $50,000) and imprisonment for 3 months

Failing to keep the required documents on board and make them available for inspection without reasonable excuse

Failing to comply with a notice issued by the Authority without reasonable excuse

Submitting a copy of a document which is false or misleading in purported compliance with a notice issued by the Authority

Providing false or misleading information or document in an application for exemption

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Q11. Is there any defence for an offence of using non-compliant fuel?

The Fuel for Vessels Regulation provides defences for a defendant charged with using non-compliant fuel within the waters of Hong Kong. For details, please see:https://www.elegislation.gov.hk/hk/cap311AB

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User review date: 
Monday, 17 December, 2018