Tougher regulations covering the construction and testing of containers are planned by the Government in an effort to improve the safe handling of boxes. The laws are contained in the Freight Containers (Safety) Bill, which will be introduced in the Legislative Council next Wednesday. It will extend the 1972 International Container Convention for Safe Containers to cover all containers transported locally. The Government said it had received no objections to the plan after consultations with the shipping industry and eight container vehicle owners' and drivers' associations. A Marine Department spokesman said the bill set the standard requirements for the testing, inspection and approval of containers and prescribed procedures for their maintenance, examination and control. The aim is to ensure safety in handling, stacking and transport. 'Though the convention covers only containers used for international transport, the bill applies also to domestic transport so as to ensure the construction and safety standards of containers used in Hong Kong,' he said. 'It will improve safety standards within the container industry and ensure that only approved and properly maintained containers are handled, thus reducing accidents arising from the use of unsafe containers.' A key requirement is the need for each container to have a safety approval plate showing the date of manufacture, maximum operating gross weight and allowable stacking weight. The bill requires the owner, lessee or bailee of a container to ensure it is fixed with a plate, properly maintained and approved and that markings on it are consistent with information on the plate.