Prevention against Importation of COVID-19 Cases to Hong Kong through Visiting Goods Vessels

01 Sep 2021 / Hong Kong

Hong Kong Vessel Traffic Centre have issued an advisory MD-VTC-F01-095-01C002-P001 to shipping agents/companies to adhere to the strict compliance of local relevant laws and exemption conditions in order to prevent the importation of COVID-19 cases to Hong Kong.

In particular, all ship agents should verify the information provided by the shipping companies and the ship masters before submitting applications to the DH for free pratique. The ship agents will be held liable in case any misrepresentation / provision of false information is substantiated.

Pursuant to Cap. 599A, if the operator of a cross-boundary vessel has reason to suspect that there exists on board the vessel a case or source of a specified infectious diseases; or a case or source
of contamination, the operator concerned should notify a health officer immediately. A person who
contravenes the above commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine at level 3 and to
imprisonment for 6 months.

Shipping agents/ companies are also reminded to strictly comply with the exemption conditions
applicable to crew members of (a) goods vessels with cargo operations in Hong Kong (at Annex A) and (b) goods vessels which have not called the ports of “Group A specified places” under Cap. 599H during the 21 days prior to arrival in Hong Kong purely for shipping services (excluding ship repair) (at Annex.

B). Shipping companies/agents failing to comply with the relevant exemption conditions, or failing
to ensure that the goods vessels will only take ship services provided by the ship services companies
which have complied with the relevant conditions, will be disallowed for arranging goods vessels to
visit Hong Kong for crew change and/or shipping services for one month. The Marine Department
(MD) will continue to conduct spot checks to ensure that the aforementioned conditions and
requirements have been complied with.

(For information about operations in Hong Kong, contact GAC Hong Kong at [email protected] )

Source: Vessel Traffic Centre, Hong Kong. Advisory MD-VTC-F01-095-01C002-P001

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