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Government proposes new regulations to make ships "greener"

     The Government has proposed to update the existing regulations by implementing the latest requirements governing air pollution from ships prescribed by the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. The legislative proposals were gazetted today (January 29).

     A spokesman for the Transport and Housing Bureau said that the refined Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution) Regulation, which would replace the existing one, would step up control on shipboard incineration and emissions of air pollutants.

     Moreover, it will regulate the energy efficiency of ocean-going vessels of 400 gross tonnage and above. These ocean-going vessels will have to obtain and carry on board an International Energy Efficiency Certificate, which will be issued after a ship has been surveyed.

     Fees and charges for the aforesaid survey and certification services will be added in the Merchant Shipping (Prevention and Control of Pollution) (Fees) Regulation accordingly.

     The spokesman explained that the charging of fees was based on the cost recovery principle. The impact on the operating costs of ocean-going vessels is minimal.

     "Stakeholders in the shipping industry support the legislative proposals. They have been consulted in the preparation of these proposals," he added.

     The legislative proposals will be tabled before the Legislative Council for negative vetting on February 3.

Ends/Friday, January 29, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:01


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