Hong Kong’s law on clean bunker fuel is scheduled to come into force on 1 July 2015.
The HK government has released a statement saying that the Air Pollution Control (Ocean Going Vessels) (Fuel at Berth) Regulation will be tabled at the Legislative Council on March 18 2015.
The law mandates that ocean-going vessels are required to use marine fuel with a sulphur content not exceeding 0.5 percent such as LNG and other fuels that have been approved.
A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department said: "The regulation prohibits OGVs from using any fuel other than compliant fuel while at berth in Hong Kong, except during the first hour after arrival and the last hour before departure. The ship masters and ship owners are required to record the date and time of fuel switching and keep the relevant records for three years. If an OGV uses technology that can achieve the same or less emission of sulphur dioxide (SO2) when compared with using low-sulphur marine fuel, the OGV may be exempted from switching to compliant fuel."
Once the regulation is in place, masters and owners of vessels using non-compliant fuels while at berth in HK could be fined up to a maximum of $200,000 and imprisoned for six months. Similarly, ship masters and owners who do not record or keep the required particulars could face fines of $50,000 and three months imprisonment.
The new regulation is expected to reduce the total emissions of sulphur oxide by 12 percent to six percent, improving air quality and reducing the health risks associated with pollution.