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Hong Kong Shipping Register User's Handbook
Extract of the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Chapter V Section 3 : Shipping)


The User's Handbook was first updated in April 1999, as a result of the introduction of a series of enhancement measures to make the Hong Kong Shipping Register more competitive and user-friendly. Since then, the User's Handbook has been updated several times in order to reflect the latest changes made to the ship registration procedures and the requirements of Hong Kong registered ships. As an on-going updating process, this User's Handbook (2018 Edition) has been updated as shown below. The Chinese version will be updated in later stage.


Ship - A ship is a vessel capable of navigating in water not propelled by oars, including air-cushion vehicle.

Qualified Person - A qualified person must be one of the following :

  • an individual who holds a valid Hong Kong Identity Card and who is ordinarily resident in Hong Kong; or
  • a body corporate incorporated in Hong Kong; or a company registered with the Hong Kong Companies Registry as an Non-Hong Kong company.

Registrable ships - A ship is registrable in Hong Kong when :

  • a majority interest in the ship is owned by one or more “qualified persons”, or operated under a demise charter (bare boat charter) by a corporation that is a "qualified person";
  • not registered elsewhere;
  • the vessel (G.N.4653 dated 16 September 2005) is not a
    1. non self-propelled barge carrying petroleum products or dangerous goods of any substance which falls within the purview of the International Convention of Pollution from ships Annexes I, II or III;
    2. accommodation barge;
    3. fishing vessel;
    4. ship engaged in processing living resources of the sea, including whale and fish factories and aqua farming vessel;
    5. specialised ship engaged in research, expeditions or survey;
    6. non-convention ship serving exclusively within the domestic waters of a country (other than Hong Kong and Mainland waters) and not proceeding to sea;
    7. ship propelled by nuclear energy;
    8. mobile offshore drilling unit.


viewSection 1- General
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Application for ship registration in Hong Kong
1.3 Key matters relating to registration of ships in Hong Kong
1.4 “Dual Registration “ not allowed
1.5 Appointment of a representative person
1.6 Types of ship registration
1.7 Forms
1.8 Fees
1.9 Annual Tonnage Charge (ATC) Reduction Scheme
1.10 Ship’s name and marking
1.11 Colours (Flag) of a Hong Kong registered ship
1.12 Changes must be notified to the Registrar
1.13 Taxation of shipping profits
1.14 Preferential port dues
1.15 Consular assistance
viewSection 2 - Owner Registration
2.1 Documents to be submitted for Full Registration
viewSection 3 - Demise Charter (Bareboat Charter) Registration
3.1 Documents to be submitted for Full Registration
viewSection 4 - Registration of Mortgages
4.1 Mortgage in ship registration
4.2 Mortgagee
4.3 Registration of mortgage
4.4 Registration of mortgage for ship on provisional registration
4.5 Execution of a mortgage
4.6 Discharge of mortgage
4.7 Mortgage on closure of ship’s registration by direction
viewSection 5 - Changes of Ownership
5.1 Selling a registered ship
5.2 Buying a registered ship
viewSection 6 - Close of Registration
6.1 Steps to follow for closing a ship’s registration
6.2 Closure of a ship’s registration by direction
viewSection 7 - Quality Assurance
7.1 Pre-registration Quality Control (PRQC) System
7.2 Flag State Quality Control (FSQC) System
7.3 International Standards applicable to Hong Kong registered ships
7.4 Issue of certificates and surveys for Cargo Ships by Recognised Organisations
7.5 Issue of certificates and surveys for passenger ships
7.6 Contact details for applying inspection
viewSection 8 - Certification, Minimum Safe Manning, Continue Synopsis Record and Radio Operation
8.1 Certification for Seafarer
8.2 Minimum Safe Manning of Hong Kong registered ships
8.3 Continue Synopsis Record (CSR)
8.4 Ship Station Licence and Radio operation
viewSection 9 - Seafarers working on board Hong Kong registered ships and related mercantile business
9.1 Crew Agreement
9.2 Report of Births, Deaths and Missing Persons
9.3 Complaints by seafarers
9.4 Repatriation of seamen
9.5 Enquiry
viewSection 10 - Fees
10.1 Registration fees
10.2 Seafarers’ fees
10.3 Others
viewAppendix 1 - Registry fees
viewAppendix 2 - Miscellaneous registry fees
Appendix 3 - Useful Directory
viewAppendix 4 - List of address, telephone, fax number and e-mail of overseas Economic and Trade Offices