Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance, Cap 548, ("LVO") and Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Safety and Survey) Regulation

Local vesselLocal vessel

1. Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) Ordinance, Cap 548 (“LVO”, the “Ordinance”) was enacted in 1999 and has been further amended in December 2005 [ Gazette on 9/12/2005 No. 49 Vol. 9 -Legal Supplement No. 1 ] , and come into force together with its ten subsidiary legislation [ Gazette 6/10/2006 No. 40 Vol. 10 - Legal Supplement No. 2] and amendments [Gazette 1/12/2006 No.48 Vol.10 – Legal Supplement No.2] on 2 January 2007 . Under Part IV of the Ordinance, a local vessel is required to be certificated (i.e. by obtaining a valid Certificate of Survey or Certificate of Inspection) and owner of a local vessel shall obtain a valid Certificate of Ownership.

2. The Merchant Shipping (Local Vessels) (Safety and Survey) Regulations, Cap 548 (“Survey Regulation”) as promulgated under LVO is to regulate and prescribe safety standards and requirements for local vessels through approved codes of practice, approval of plans on the construction and survey / inspections on equipment and installation, trial and testing of prior to licences are issued these vessels to ensure the safety and environmental requirements meet their intended purpose.

3. The Regulation consolidates or correlates relevant provisions for the control, safety and environmental requirements of local vessels currently scattered in the Shipping and Port Control Ordinance (Cap. 313), the Merchant Shipping (Safety) Ordinance (Cap. 369), and the Merchant Shipping (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Ordinance (Cap. 413). D etails of the above legislation can be referred via website:

4. Some salient requirements of the Survey Regulation are given below for quick information and reference.

(a) the shipowners of local vessels may appoint agents for the purposes of the Regulation;
(b) the plan approval work may be carried out by competent surveyors or the Director. The requirements, procedures and application for plan approval are set out;
(c) the procedures and survey application for the issue, cancellation and suspension of certificates of inspection and certificates of survey;
(d) the procedures and standards regarding the construction and maintenance of local vessels, the life-saving appliances and fire-fighting apparatus to be provided on board local vessels, and survey application for the issue of the following certificates, i.e. survey record of safety equipment, Hong Kong load line certificate, freeboard assignment certificate and declaration of fitness for carriage of dangerous goods;
(e) the requirement for the application for and the issue, cancellation and suspension of certificates as mentioned in paragraph (d);
(f) the requirements related to the carriage of passengers in local vessels, for example, the Director may reduce the number of passengers that a local vessel may carry in certain circumstances;
(g) the requirements to be followed for the alteration of local vessels;
(h) the requirements concerning the plying limits, fitting of radar equipment and restriction on use of certain engines in certain local vessels; and
(i) miscellaneous requirements, for example, the power of the Director to provide practical guidance by way of Marine Department Notices.

5. Full context of the Regulation [Legal Supplement No. 2 ] can be assessed via the g azette published on 6 October 2006 and amendment [Legal Supplement No. 2] can be assessed via the gazette published on 1 December 2006 . For further information or enquiries, please contact Local Vessels Safety Section (LVS) at telephone number 2852 4444 or fax number 2542 4679.

Local Vessels Safety Section
December 2006