Government moves on maritime laws

THE Hongkong Government has gazetted the Merchant Shipping Bill, localising United Kingdom legislation governing two international conventions.

Marine Department principal surveyor Duncan Drummond said: ''The Bill will replace United Kingdom legislation which is at present applied to Hongkong, thereby enabling Hongkong to apply these two international conventions by means of its own domestic legislation.

''The conventions provide for the settlement of claims arising from the carriage of passengers and their luggage by sea on international voyages, and the limitation of liability of shipowners and salvors in respect of certain maritime claims.'' The Bill, which can be amended if the need arises, will be introduced in the Legislative Council on Wednesday for first and second readings.