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.
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.
A3. No, the Regulation is not applicable to a vessel which is not moored or anchored.
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.
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.
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.
A7. All ocean going vessels should ensure that they have sufficient amount of compliant fuel before visiting Hong Kong.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.