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Maritime Law in Hong Kong

Maritime Law in Hong Kong

The Port of Hong Kong

Hong Kong has one of the busiest and important ports in the world and foreign investors willing to do business in the trading sector should know the basic principles and provisions of the maritime law governing the access and use of Hong Kong’s coastal waters.

The Port of Hong Kong is located in the South China Sea and is a deep-water seaport. The Victoria Harbor handles all types of vessels, mainly vessels transporting containerized goods, but also handles passenger transportation. The Marine Department in Hong Kong is responsible for monitoring the vessels arriving to and departing from the Victoria Harbor.

Governing law for maritime activities in Hong Kong

The maritime law in Hong Kong includes a series of articles, bills and ordinances aiming at regulating the shipping activities, as well as the ferry services and merchant shipping taking place in Hong Kong’s territorial waters. 

Vessels that carry gods by sea must observe a series of provisions and are responsible and liable for their cargo to the extent of the applicable law. The carrier ship must also fulfill a number of conditions: the ship must be made seaworthy, it must be properly supplied, equipped and staffed and all of the parts in which goods are carried must be fit for the reception, carriage and preservation of goods. The carrier’s duties include loading, handling, stowing, carrying, keeping and discharging the carries goods.

Any ship that is used for commercial purposes within the territorial waters of Hong Kong must have a certificate of registry or provisional registry, a certificate of ownership and other relevant documents for the performed activities. 

If you want to know more about obtaining special permits and licenses for performing various trade activities, our lawyers in Hong Kong can help you obtain them.

Maritime security in Hong Kong

Maritime security is very important in Hong Kong and several measures are in place to ensure the safety of ships and of port facilities. Hong Kong observes the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code which ensures that Governments and local administrations co-operate to detect security threats. The Code applies to passenger ships, cargo ships, and mobile offshore drilling units.

The Marine Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government is the designated Authority of Hong Kong that deals with ensuring the security of the port.

Businessmen interested in starting a maritime business can also discuss with us their options for submitting a Hong Kong residency application. A minimum, long-term and lawful stay is required before being able to become a permanent resident, however, the application with the Immigration Department can be simplified when working with our team and making the correct submissions.

Our law firm in Hong Kong can help you and your company if you are involved in trading and shipping activities in Hong Kong. Please contact our lawyers in Hong Kong for more information.