Pilotage (Amendment) Bill 2022 to be gazetted on Friday

     The Pilotage (Amendment) Bill 2022 will be published in the Gazette this Friday (October 14) to amend the Pilotage Ordinance (Cap. 84) and the subsidiary legislation made under it to refine the arrangements for the medical examination of pilots and other existing practices, and to adjust the pilotage dues.

     Certain ships visiting Hong Kong are required to be under the pilotage of a licensed pilot to ensure their safe navigation within Hong Kong waters, reduce the risk of accidents and avoid damage to port facilities. The Ordinance and the subsidiary legislation made under it provide for the regulation of pilotage services including the requirement for obtaining, upgrading and renewing a pilot licence as well as the pilotage dues that may be charged by the pilots for the services rendered.

     A spokesman for the Transport and Logistics Bureau today (October 12) said, "One of the legislative changes proposed in the Bill is to allow the medical examination for pilot licence applicants and re-examination for licensed pilots to be carried out by a registered medical practitioner in Hong Kong. Medical examination or re-examination for pilot licence applicants and licensed pilots could be exempted by the Pilotage Authority if the person concerned has within the previous 12 months submitted to a similar examination, regardless of whether the examination is conducted in Hong Kong."
     The Bill also proposes to increase the pilotage dues, which were last revised back in 2016, by an average of 9.7 per cent as mutually agreed by the pilotage service users and providers. Other miscellaneous amendments include replacing an obsolete reference in the Ordinance and facilitating the Marine Department (MD)'s enforcement action by empowering MD officers not below the rank of Marine Inspector to require a pilot to produce the pilot's licence for inspection.

     The Panel on Economic Development of the Legislative Council (LegCo) and the Pilotage Advisory Committee have been consulted. Members supported the legislative proposal.

     The Bill will be introduced into the LegCo on October 26.

Ends/Wednesday, October 12, 2022
Issued at HKT 17:50