The Hong Kong government has held a three-day workshop to boost awareness of new incentives to encourage ships using Hong Kong's port to switch to cleaner fuels.
Under the incentive scheme, ocean-going vessels (OGVs) will enjoy a 50% reduction in port facility fees and light dues by switching from bunker oil to fuel with sulphur content of not more than 0.5% for their auxiliary engines, boilers and generators while at berth in Hong Kong waters. "This incentive scheme will help reduce vessel emissions and improve the air quality around the port area. We encourage shipping liners to join this green shipping scheme," explained Hong Kong's Director of Marine, Francis Liu.
The event, which attracted 50 representatives from 16 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation member states, featured a keynote address from Liu, who outlined progress towards major infrastructure projects to boost local capacity. He announced that a feasibility study had been launched on the development of a new container terminal, and confirmed that dredging work had begun at the Kwai Tsing Container Basin to ensure that Hong Kong's ports can accommodate ultra-large container ships.
Wong Kam-sing, Hong Kong's Secretary for the Environment explained: "The government has been implementing a package of 22 measures, targeting various major polluting sources, with a view to improving the air quality in Hong Kong. Reducing marine emissions is one of our priorities and the launch of the incentive scheme is a step forward to achieving this goal."
Vessels are subject to port facility and light dues based on their tonnage at HKD43 (USD5.5) per 100 tons for every port call to Hong Kong. During 2011, about 32,500 calls to Hong Kong were recorded..
TAGS: tax | marine | Hong Kong | tax incentives | fees | environment
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