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Information Notes for Masters of Visiting Yachts/Pleasure Vessels
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The attention of masters/owners/agents of visiting yachts/pleasure vessels is drawn to the following information:

  1. Port Formalities
  2. Use of Visiting Yachts/Pleasure Vessels in Hong Kong
  3. Manning and Crew Certification
  4. Vessel Traffic Services
  5. Yacht and Boat Clubs
  6. Departure Clearance
  7. Mailing of Arrival Notice
  8. Communication Equipment
  9. Liaison with a Local Co-ordinator before Sailing
  10. Tropical Cyclone
  11. Nautical Chart
  12. In Case of Emergency

1. Port Formalities

(i) No vessel is allowed to enter Hong Kong waters without the permission of the Director of Marine. Not less than 24 hours prior to entering into Hong Kong waters, masters/owners/agents of visiting yachts/pleasure vessels shall apply in writing for permission by providing a Pre-Arrival Notification (PAN) to the Marine Department (MD). The PAN of a Visiting Yacht/Pleasure Vessel (DOC) should be provided to the Vessel Traffic Centre (VTC) of MD.
(ii) Visiting yachts/pleasure vessels entering Hong Kong waters are required to complete port formalities with the Department of Health, Immigration Department (PDF) and Marine Department. Please visit the homepage of Customs and Excise Department for cargo clearance and passenger clearance where appropriate.
(iii) Masters/owners/agents of visiting yachts/pleasure vessels should within 24 hours after the vessels’ arrival, report their arrival at one of the District Marine Offices of the Marine Department. A General Declaration Form MD 510, together with the Certificate of Registry of the vessel, a crew list (ID 207A) stamped by the Immigration Department and the Port Clearance issued by the authority of the last port of call should be produced at the time of reporting arrival. A prescribed fee of HK$58 for the arrival clearance would be charged.

2. Use of Visiting Yachts/Pleasure Vessels in Hong Kong

(i) According to Section 8 of the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels)(General) Regulation (Cap. 548F), except with the permission of the Director of Marine, a yacht/pleasure vessel from a place outside Hong Kong shall not navigate in the waters of Hong Kong.  The master/owner of a visiting yacht/pleasure vessel may apply for a permission to navigate if there is an operational need or to cruise in Hong Kong waters for leisure purposes provided that specified requirements (PDF) are met.  When submitting an application, the applicant shall produce a valid third party risks insurance policy of not less than HK$5,000,000 coverage for operation of his/her vessel within the waters of Hong Kong.
(ii) In case a visiting yacht/pleasure vessel stays in the waters of Hong Kong for more than 182 days out of 365 consecutive days, it shall be licensed in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels)(Certification and Licensing) Regulation (Cap. 548D).
(iii) Applications for a permission to navigate or licensing of pleasure vessels can be made at one of the District Marine Offices. Applicants are advised to submit the application in advance if practicable.

3. Manning and Crew Certification

(i)   According to Section 11 of Cap. 548F, all vessels including visiting yachts/pleasure vessels while within the waters of Hong Kong shall have sufficient qualified crew on board to carry out necessary duties to ensure the safety of the vessels and other port users.
(ii)   A visiting yacht/pleasure vessel permitted to navigate in the waters of Hong Kong shall have on board minimum safe manning which is appropriate to the vessel’s size and equipment and in all cases not less than two qualified operators.  These operators shall hold navigational qualifications issued or recognized by an administration.   A copy of certificate of competency (all pages) should be submitted when applying for a permission to navigate.
(iii)   The following certificates are the navigational qualifications which are considered acceptable. The list below is not exhaustive and operators holding equivalent qualifications may also be considered:-
      (a) Certificate of competency as master, chief mate or officer in charge of a navigational watch issued by an administration under the STCW Convention recognized by the Marine Department for ocean going or coastal voyage, subject to a test on the local knowledge, the recognition list is available in the Marine Department website (http://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/msnotice/stcw_hke.html) ;
      (b) Operator’s certificate issued by an administration or port authority, subject to a test on the local knowledge and/or nautical knowledge if considered necessary by the Director of Marine; and
      (c) RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Coastal/Offshore/Ocean Certificate of Competency, subject to a test on the local knowledge.
(iv)   The certificate of competency held by the pleasure vessel operator shall be valid in terms of ship’s length or power for the vessel to which the permission is issued.

4. Vessel Traffic Services

The Vessel Traffic Centre, call sign “Mardep” maintains a continuous listening watch on channel 12, 14 and 67. Masters may obtain navigational information from the Centre when navigating in or near the waters of Hong Kong.

5. Yacht and Boat Clubs

Berths and repair facilities, in addition to social and recreational facilities, are available at various yacht and boat clubs which are conveniently located at various parts of Hong Kong. Masters/owners/agents of visiting yachts/pleasure vessels are advised to contact local clubs to obtain up-to-date information and to make berthing arrangements before calling Hong Kong. The popular boat and yacht clubs in Hong Kong are listed below:

 

Aberdeen Boat Club Ltd.

Aberdeen Marina Club Ltd.

 

The Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club

Discovery Bay Marina Club Ltd.

 

Club Marina Cove Ltd.

Gold Coast Yacht and Country Club Ltd.

 

The Hebe Haven Yacht Club Ltd.

Hong Kong Marina Ltd.

 

Lantau Boat Club

The Tai Po Boat Club Ltd.

 

Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club

 


6. Departure Clearance

( i ) A Port Clearance should be obtained before a yacht/pleasure vessel leaves Hong Kong waters.
( ii ) The masters/owners/agents should produce a General Declaration Form MD 510 together with the Certificate of Registry and a Sailing Notice at one of the District Marine Offices.
( iii ) A prescribed fee of HK$58 is charged for the issue of a port clearance. The port clearance ceases to be valid after the lapse of 72 hours. The masters/owners/agents are required to re-apply for a port clearance if the intended departure is deferred for more than 72 hours after the port clearance is issued, or inform the District Marine Office if the intended departure is cancelled.

7. Mailing of Arrival Notice

( i ) The masters/owners/agents are advised to report the arrival of vessels at the destination in the form of an Arrival Notice by AIRMAIL to the Marine Department, Hong Kong.
( ii ) Mailing of the Arrival Notice is not required for vessels sailing for open sea, Macao or other Chinese coastal ports adjacent to Hong Kong, on the assumption that such vessels are usually outbound from Hong Kong for short periods only.

8. Communication Equipment

The Director of Marine of Hong Kong co-ordinates Search and Rescue (SAR) operations in an area north of 10°North Latitude and west of 120°East Longitude. It is important to note that the degree of success of any SAR operation depends on the availability of information pertaining to the position of a vessel in distress. Masters are reminded to ensure that the communication equipment on their vessels is properly maintained at all times.

9. Liaison with a Local Coordinator before Sailing

The local coordinator as stated in item (10) of the Sailing Notice should be given as much sailing information as possible, as he reports directly to the Marine Department should he discover that the vessel arrival at the destination is overdue or other concerns of the safety of the vessel. The precise and comprehensive sailing information enables save of lives at sea expeditiously in SAR operations.

10. Tropical Cyclone

Tropical cyclones in this area are often severe with winds frequently exceeding 150km/hr. Masters are advised to take early precautionary action whenever any tropical cyclone warning signal is issued. Latest tropical cyclones and weather information can be obtained from the Hong Kong Observatory.

11. Nautical Chart

Masters are advised to carry up-to-date nautical charts and publications on board for the intended voyage. Details of bilingual (Chinese and English) nautical charts and publications can be obtained from the Hydrographic Office of the Marine Department.

12. In Case of Emergency

When your vessel encounters emergency situations, distress or accident, you should call the Vessel Traffic Centre (VTC), either on V.H.F. (channel 12, 14, 67) or by telephone at 2233 7801 or 2233 7808. Alternatively, you may contact the Hong Kong Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre by telephone at 2233 7999 immediately. You should include details of the emergency in your call.