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New regulation on control of pollution by garbage from ships gazetted today

     The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Regulation (Repeal) Regulation (the Repeal Regulation) and the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Regulation (the New Regulation) were gazetted today (April 10).

     A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) to stipulate regulations which aim at preventing and minimising pollution from ships. The requirements governing pollution by garbage are set out in MARPOL Annex V.  

     The requirements of MARPOL Annex V were implemented in Hong Kong through the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Garbage) Regulation (Cap.413J) (the existing Regulation) enacted in 1995.

     With the repeal of the existing Regulation, the New Regulation seeks to enact the latest international requirements governing discharge of garbage from ships as prescribed by the IMO.

     Under the New Regulation, control of discharge will be enhanced by expanding the definition of "Garbage" to include nine categories of substances generated during the normal operation of ships, such as food wastes, operational wastes, cooking oil, fishing gear and animal carcasses.

     "The discharge requirements under the New Regulation will also be tightened by prohibiting discharge of additional categories of garbage from ships into the sea. This will contribute to better protection of the marine environment," the spokesman added.

     In addition, the New Regulation will set out new requirements for ships to display placards to notify the crew and passengers of the discharge requirements, and to maintain Garbage Management Plans and Garbage Record Books.

     The stakeholders in the shipping industry have been consulted. They were supportive of the proposals for the enactment of the latest international requirements.

     The Repeal Regulation and the New Regulation will be introduced into the Legislative Council on April 15, 2015.

Ends/Friday, April 10, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:00


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