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Regulation for low-sulphur fuel while at berth in Hong Kong takes effect July 1

Regulation for low-sulphur fuel while at berth in Hong Kong takes effect July 1

The Hong Kong Marine Department is implementing a low-sulphur regulation for ocean-going vessels (OGV) moored or anchored at a berth in Hong Kong waters from July 1.

As earlier reported, the ‘Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation (Cap. 311AA)’ requires ships to use ‘compliant’ fuels while at berth in Hong Kong, when operating main engines (except when used for the propulsion of the vessel), auxiliary engines, boilers or generators. The requirement does not apply during the first hour after arrival and the last hour before departure.

Under the regulation, compliant fuel means low-sulphur fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5% by weight, liquefied natural gas or any other fuel approved by the Hong Kong authority.

Masters are required to record the date and time of fuel switching and keep the records for three years. If an OGV uses technology that can achieve the same or lower SO2 emissions as can be achieved with compliant fuel, the OGV may be exempt from fuel switching.

After the regulation enters into force on July 1, masters and owners of any OGVs using non-compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong may be liable to a maximum fine of $200,000 and imprisonment for six months. Masters and owners who fail to keep the required records may also be liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for three months.

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