The use of cleaner fuel while berthing in the waters of Hong Kong will make ocean-going vessels (OGVs) entitled to a 50% reduction in port facility and light dues. The initiative focusing on the eligibility of OGVs is effective from September 26, 2012. This is a three-year incentive program.
A one-off registration of vessels with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) is mandatory for every proprietor, operator or his agent of OGVs who wish to participate in the program. Registration has started on September 17, following which eligible OGVs are entitled to apply for a reduction in port facility and light dues, under the scheme with the Marine Department (MD) from September 26, for each port call to Hong Kong.
According to Hong Kong Secretary for the Environment, Wong Kam-sing, for better air quality, the government in Hong Kong has started deploying a package of 22 measures for diverse major polluting sources. Introduction of incentive scheme will promote reduction in marine emissions. This incentive program has also enabled OGVs to have improved efficiency as the port facility and light dues will be reduced to half by replacing fuel for bunker oil with sulfur content of not higher than 0.5 % for generators during berthing in Hong Kong waters. The incentive program will aid in lowering vessel emissions, thus ensuring enhanced air quality along the port area.
Hong Kong Financial Secretary has reported in his 2012-13 budget speech about this initiative to reduce the port facility and light dues by half which are charged on low-sulfur fuel-based OGVs while docking in Hong Kong waters.
Around 32,500 calls to Hong Kong were recorded in 2011, based on port facility and light dues owing to their US$5.5 per 100 T of tonnage for each port call to Hong Kong.