The Hong Kong Marine Department has issued Notice No. 92 of 2014 detailing amended requirements for the control of dark smoke emissions, according to a statutory alert from Lloyd’s Register (LR).

It is now an offense for any vessel in the waters of Hong Kong to emit dark smoke, which is as dark as, or darker than, shade 2 on the ‘Ringelmann chart’ for three minutes or more continuously at any one time.

For international vessels which contravene the requirements, the owner, his agent and the master are each liable to a fine of HK$ 25,000 for a first conviction and a fine of HK$ 50,000 for any subsequent conviction.

For domestic vessels, the owner, his agent and the coxswain are each liable to a fine of HK$ 10,000 for a first conviction, and to a fine of HK$ 25,000 for any subsequent conviction.

Thus, ships must observe the new requirements and ensure that engines and fuel systems are maintained in good condition in order to avoid excessive dark smoke emissions.