International Maritime Organisation
The HKSAR Government participates in International Maritime Organisation
(IMO) activities as an associate member under the name 'Hong Kong, China'. The
Hong Kong maritime industry is consulted on, and kept well informed about, all
issues discussed at IMO meetings that may affect Hong Kong. In 2006, government
officers attended one conference and 18 IMO meetings in London. Topics discussed
were related to training standards, certification for seafarers, fire protection, bulk
carrier safety, radio communications, life-saving appliances, navigational safety,
ballast water management, preventing marine pollution, casualty statistics and
investigations, and maritime security.
Port State Control
Hong Kong is a member of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State
Control (PSC) in the Asia-Pacific Region ('Tokyo MOU'). The Marine Department
participated actively in various activities, and is the leader of two working groups
governed by the MOU. The department's PSC officers are well known for their
professionalism and impartiality in conducting ship inspections.
In 2006, the department continued to conduct Port State Control inspections
daily, including weekends whenever practicable. The officers conducted 596
inspections of ocean-going vessels, or 13.1 per cent of ocean-going vessels that
visited Hong Kong. About 10 per cent of the ships inspected were detained because
of serious deficiencies that needed immediate attention.
Maritime Search and Rescue
The Marine Department's Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centre (MRCC)
coordinates search and rescue operations for disasters occurring in Hong Kong waters
or in parts of the South China Sea. It is responsible for about 450 000 square nautical
miles of sea.
The MRCC is manned 24 hours a day by professional staff and is equipped with
modern communication equipment and is aided by a shore-based Global Maritime
Distress and Safety System.
During the year, the centre handled 214 vessel-related emergencies, 53 of which
involved search and rescue operations. A total of 238 people were rescued in those
In recognition of its expertise, the Hong Kong MRCC has been chosen as a
member of the IMO/International Civil Aviation Organisation Joint Working Group for
Harmonisation of Maritime and Aeronautical Search and Rescue.