Hong Kong – Low-Sulphur Fuel

7 February 2014

Members who call at Hong Kong should note that the Hong Kong Legislative Council is due to vote in mid-2014 on whether to make the use of low-sulphur fuel compulsory. Low-sulphur fuel is likely to be defined as having a sulphur content of not more than 0.5%. Should the proposed legislation become law, the current timetable indicates that emissions of ocean going vessels will be subject to regulation in Hong Kong from an as yet unspecified date in 2015. It is proposed that there will be a fine of up to HKD200,000 and up to 6 months imprisonment for a breach in the proposed law.

In the meantime, Members may already be aware of a voluntary incentive scheme to promote the use of low-sulphur fuel whilst in Hong Kong. This scheme, which has been active for a number of years, was introduced to try to reduce air pollution. The incentive for ocean going vessels to join the scheme is that the current port facilities and light dues charge of HKD43 per 100 mt will be reduced by half.  More details can be found by clicking here.

We should also highlight the Air Pollution Control (Marine Light Diesel (“MLD”)) Regulation (the “Regulation”), which will be effective from 1 April 2014, subject to the final approval of the Hong Kong Legislative Council. The Regulation seeks to control the quality of MLD supplied in Hong Kong and, amongst other things, requires MLD to have a sulphur content of no more than 0.05%. It will be an offence for anyone to supply MLD that does not comply with the Regulation. There are fines of HKD50,000 and 3 months imprisonment for suppliers of MLD who breach the Regulations. The Regulation does not require vessels to use the supplied fuel in Hong Kong. For the full text of the Regulation click here.

For further assistance and/or clarification in relation to the above, Members should approach their usual Club contact.