Updates for Merchant Shipping Safety Laws Proposed

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  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) lays out latest ship safety requirements.
  • According to this all local load line and merchant shipping safety regulations are to be amended.
  • The Chinese government has gazetted an amended in this regard on 23rd March.
  • The bill is slated to be presented in the Legislative Council, shortly.

In order to meet the latest requirements set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in it’s recent Internal Convention, the Government proposes to amend regulations under the Merchant Shipping (Safety) Ordinance. The new regulations will change the dynamics of Load Lines Convention, says a report.

The Amendments

Amendments will be made to the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Load Line) Regulation and the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Load Lines) (Deck Cargo) Regulation. With the latest requirements incorporated in the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Load Line) (Amendment) Regulation, the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (Load Lines) (Length of Ship) Regulations will be repealed.

Objectivity of the amendments

A Transport and Housing Bureau spokesman said, “The proposed legislative amendments seek to enhance the safety and stability of a ship by implementing the latest requirements of the Load Lines Convention, which is amended by the IMO from time to time to keep international standards in relation to load lines in tandem with new shipping technological and operational practices.”

“The latest requirements to be incorporated include the improved calculation and determination of a ship’s freeboard, intact stability and structural requirements, as well as the safe carriage of deck cargo consisting of timber on a ship”, he added.

Stage Set

The Legislative Council Panel on Economic Development and the relevant consultative committee of the Marine Department have been consulted regarding this matter and all members supported have the legislative proposal.

On 23 March, the legislative amendments were gazetted and it is scheduled to be tabled in the Legislative Council on March 28 for negative vetting. With this, the safety of the merchants in the shipping industry will be secured.

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Source: GovHK

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