Plan Approval and Survey for Local Vessels

  1. What are the statutory requirements of life-saving apparatus and fire-fighting apparatus for Class I, II, III & IV vessels?

    Ans: The requirements are under Schedule 3 & 4 of Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Safety and Survey) Regulation, Cap. 548G .
  2. What are the statutory requirements of children life jacket?

    Ans: The requirements are under Schedule 3 of Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Safety and Survey) Regulation, Cap. 548G .
  3. What are the survey arrangements, location and schedule of local vessels?

    Ans: The owner/builder should submit to the Local Vessels Safety Section an Application for Survey (Survey Form 6B), stating the nature of the survey requested, the tentative date, time and place of which the survey is to be conducted.

    Surveys in Hong Kong

    • For the survey of vessel, prior appointment should be made with the Local Vessels Safety Section by calling (852) 2852 4444 or the relevant marine office of the survey locations in the following table stating the name of the vessel, the Certificate of Ownership number, the date, time, place and type of survey to be carried out. Appointments are accepted up to 4:30 p.m. of the last working day before the survey date, subject to the availability of surveyors and inspectors.
    • Safety surveys are scheduled at the following survey locations (other than public holidays):

      Survey Location Schedule Tel. Fax
      New Yaumatei Typhoon Shelter Monday to Friday 2388 0101 2782 0412
      Aberdeen Typhoon Shelter Every Tuesday & Thursday 2873 8366 2554 4346
      Shaukeiwan Typhoon Shelter 1st & 3rd Tuesday of every month 2560 1474 2567 9779
      Cheung Chau Typhoon Shelter 2nd & 4th Tuesday of every month 2981 9885 2981 5300
      Sai Kung (off Sai Kung Hoi Pong Street) 1st & 3rd Wednesday of every month 2792 1212 2792 7820
      Tai Po (off Sam Mun Tsai Marine Office) 2nd Wednesday of every month 2667 6939 2667 6952
      Tuen Mun Kadoorie Pier 2nd & 4th Friday of every month 2451 9456 2452 5747
      Sha Tau Kok Pier at Yim Liu Ha 3rd Friday of every three month 2667 6939 2667 6952
    • Individual applications for final inspections at other locations may be accepted subject to the availability of survey staff and the payment of appropriate fees.

    Surveys outside Hong Kong

    • Applications for surveys outside Hong Kong should be made to the Local Vessels Safety Section in writing at least four working days before the tentative survey dates.
    • In addition to survey fees payable for the issue of certificate, a sum of specified fee is payable for any survey staff who is away from Hong Kong (on daily basis). Applicant for survey outside Hong Kong will also be responsible for the cost of travel, accommodation, medical support, visa, and other minor miscellaneous expenses. The applicant should arrange the travel itinerary, booking of hotel etc.
    • Fees are charged in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Fees) Regulation, Cap. 548J for plan approval and surveys. All such fees must be paid to the Marine Department before the commencement of plan approval work or surveys. Fees are to be paid directly to the Department's collection offices. A receipt will be issued upon every payment.
  4. Where can I find information on plans required to be submitted for new buildings?

    Ans: For Class I, II and III vessels, the information on plans required to be submitted is under Chapter 2 Section 5 of “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class I Vessels”; “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class II Vessels”; and “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class III Vessels” applicable to the respective class of vessel, issued under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance. For details, please refer to the following Marine Department webpage:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/lvs_cop.html .

    For Class IV vessels of novel type, Marine Department will individually considered the required plan/information and informed owner/agent by letter. For other Class IV vessels the required plan/information are to be determined by the relevant Authorized Surveyors/Organizations and Recognized Authorities.

  5. What are the requirements of plan approval and survey arrangement of vessels?

    Ans: Authorized Surveyors/Organizations and Recognized Authorities may undertake the approval of plans and survey or inspection of specific classes of local vessels in accordance with the scope of services (refer to the Annex) specified under their individual authorization or recognition.

    In general, all classes of local vessels are included with the exception of Class IV vessels of novel type which are undertaken by Marine Department officers.

    Owners of the afore-mentioned local vessels would have a choice to engage those Authorized Surveyors/Organizations or Recognized Authorities to conduct plan approval and survey or inspection for their vessels in addition to Marine Department officers.
    To engage an Authorized Surveyor/Organization or a Recognized Authority to conduct the plan approval and survey or inspection works, the owner of the vessel or his agent is required to complete a “Notice of Engagement” form, which should be duly signed by the Authorized Surveyor/Organization or the Recognized Authority as an indication of acceptance of the engagement. The owner or his agent should, as soon as practicable after the engagement, notify the Director of Marine about the engagement by sending a copy of the completed “Notice of Engagement” form to the Local Vessels Safety Section.
    After the approval of plans, survey or inspection of a local vessel is satisfactorily carried out, the concerned Authorized Surveyor/Organization or Recognized Authority is required to issue a “Declaration of Survey” in a specified form with the necessary survey records and submit to the Local Vessels Safety Section for assessment. If it is found satisfactory, the relevant certificate(s) will be issued to the vessel as appropriate. The “Notice of Engagement” form and “Declaration of Survey” form can be obtained from the following Marine Department website:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/forms/pdf/md611.pdf and

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/forms/home.html#localvess

    For details, please refer to the Marine Department Notice No.149 of 2017 and list of Recognized Authorities, Authorized organizations and Authorized Surveyors:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/notices/pdf/mdn17149.pdf

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/pdf/lvs_list.pdf

  6. Where can I find information on survey items for new buildings (initial surveys and final inspection) of Class I, II and III vessels?

    Ans: The survey items are under Chapter II Section 7 Table 7-1 & 7-3 of “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class I Vessels”; “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class II Vessels”; and “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class III Vessels” applicable to the respective class of vessel, issued under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance. For details, please refer to the following Marine Department webpage:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/lvs_cop.html
  7. Where can I find information on survey cycle and survey items for existing vessels (periodic surveys and final inspection)?

    Ans: The survey cycle and survey items are under Chapter II Section 7 Table 7-2 & 7-3 of “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class I Vessels”; “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class II Vessels”; and “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class III Vessels” applicable to the respective class of vessel; and Annexes 13A and 13B of “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class IV Vessels” issued under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance. For details, please refer to the following Marine Department webpage:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/lvs_cop.html
  8. What are the general requirements of new building?

    Ans: For Class I, II and III vessels, under Chapter III of “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class I Vessels”; “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class II Vessels”; and “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class III Vessels” applicable to the respective class of vessel, issued under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance,

    (1) Every vessel should be designed and built to the requirements of rules and regulations of a recognized classification society having regarded the size, construction material, and operational services of the vessel. Such rules and regulations should be complied with in its entirety. However in the case of any inconsistency between COP and any of the requirements of the classification society rules, the requirements of COP should be complied with.

    (2) Main propulsion, control, fuel oil, compressed air, electrical and refrigeration systems; generator machinery; air receivers and other pressure equipment; piping and pumping arrangements; steering equipment, shafts and couplings for power transmission should be designed, constructed and tested to the satisfaction of the surveyor. Suitable means or device should be provided to machinery, equipment, lifting gear, winches, fish handling and fish processing equipment, etc. so as to reduce to a minimum any danger to persons on board. Special attention should be paid to moving parts, hot surfaces and other potential dangers.

    For Class IV vessels, please refer to Chapter II and III of “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class IV Vessels”.

  9. Where can I find the competent surveyors (CS) list?

    Ans: The CS list can be found at the following Marine Department webpage:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/pdf/lvs_list.pdf
  10. Where can I find information on eye sight standard for lookout?

    Ans: Under Chapter XII Section 11.2 of “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class I Vessels” issued under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance, if a crew who is assigned to assist lookout is not the holder of a valid Certificate of Competency as a coxswain on a local vessel, the crew shall meet the eyesight standards as that for coxswain (refer to the Examination Rules for Local Certificates of Competency) and hold a certificate issued by a registered medical practitioner or registered optometrist attesting that the eyesight standards have been attained by the crew. Eyesight test shall be conducted at intervals not exceeding five years. For details, please refer to the following Marine Department webpage:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/pdf/examrules_lv.pdf
  11. Where can I find the information on general survey/plan examination charges?

    Ans: The charges are under Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Fees) Regulation, Cap. 548J .
  12. I would like to apply for alteration of a vessel, what are the procedures?

    Ans: Application can be made by submitting a completed “Application for Alteration of Local Vessels”. The form can be downloaded from the following webpage of the Marine Department:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/forms/pdf/md617.pdf
  13. I would like to apply for plan approval for a vessel, what are the procedures?

    Ans: You need to submit to this Department an application letter together with three copies of the plans, and pay the relevant plan approval fees.
  14. Is slipping required for my vessel this year? What are the items to be surveyed?

    Ans: The starting date of the survey cycle of a vessel, i.e. the date of major cycle survey, is shown on its Certificate of Survey. Vessel owners can find out the items to be surveyed this year based on such date.
  15. How to find out whether the lifejackets on board are compliant with regulations?

    Ans: Compliant life-saving appliances (include lifejackets) shall conform to the International Life-Saving Appliance Code adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization by its resolution MSC.48(66), and be approved by the maritime administration of a convention country or a classification society. The above information can be found in the “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class I Vessels”; “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class II Vessels”, “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class III Vessels” and “Code of Practice – Safety Standards for Class IV Vessels” applicable to the respective class of vessel, formulated by the Marine Department.
  16. Can my vessel be surveyed by surveyors other than those from the Marine Department?

    Ans: Under the Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance, the Director of Marine may authorize or recognize certain professionals, organizations and survey authorities to carry out plan approval and survey for certain vessels. For the List of Recognized Authorities, Authorized Organizations and Authorized Surveyors as well as the type of work and the class of vessel they can provide service for, please refer to the following webpage of the Marine Department:

    https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/pub_services/ocean/pdf/lvs_list.pdf
  17. Is my fishing vessel required to be operated by an engine operator?

    Ans: According to regulations, if a fishing vessel is only fitted with one engine not exceeding 83 kW propulsion power, it is not required to be operated by a competent engine operator.