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Government proposes amendments to update regulations on merchant shipping for compliance with international standards
     The Government gazetted today (June 30) to propose legislative amendments to seven regulations under the Merchant Shipping (Safety) Ordinance (Cap. 369), the Merchant Shipping (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Ordinance (Cap. 413) and the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance (Cap. 548), to incorporate into local legislation the latest relevant requirements of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), namely the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, the International Convention on Load Lines, the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code), and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code (IMDG Code).

     The seven regulations to be amended are the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Load Lines) Regulations (Cap. 369AD), the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Life-saving Appliances and Arrangements, Musters and Training) Regulation (Cap. 369AY), the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (IMSBC Code) Regulation (Cap. 369AZ), the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Radiocommunications) Regulation (Cap. 369BB), the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Construction and Survey) Regulation (Cap. 369BD), the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Oil Pollution) Regulations (Cap. 413A), and the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (General) Regulation (Cap. 548F).

     The proposed amendments include the requirement for the installation of water level detector for certain multiple-hold cargo ships, the unified interpretation of the accepted conditions of equilibrium after flooding, the modernisation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, as well as the regular revision of the IMSBC Code and the IMDG Code.

     A spokesman for the Transport and Logistics Bureau said, "The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has been sparing no effort in implementing the latest IMO requirements through local legislation so as to keep pace with the international standards. The proposed amendments will also contribute to enhancing maritime safety."

     The Panel on Economic Development of the Legislative Council, as well as the Hong Kong Fleet Operation Advisory Committee and the Local Vessels Advisory Committee of the Marine Department, have been consulted on the legislative proposal. Members supported the proposal.

     The legislative proposal will be tabled at the Legislative Council for negative vetting on July 5.
Ends/Friday, June 30, 2023
Issued at HKT 11:00
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