A Myriad of Maritime Services

Hong Kong’s
Maritime Services Cluster

Maritime Legal Services

Maritime Legal Services

Shipbroking

Shipbroking

Ship Chartering

Ship Chartering

Ship Mangement

Ship Mangement

Ship Agent Services

Ship Agent Services

Marine Equipment

Marine Equipment

Shipowning

Shipowning

Marine Insurance

Marine Insurance

Ship Finance

Ship Finance

Ship Registration

Ship Registration

Classification Societies

Classification Societies

Ship Repairing

Ship Repairing

Ship Registration

Hong Kong Shipping Register (HKSR) is an autonomous register under Article 125 of the Basic Law. Ranked the fourth in the world, HKSR crossed the 115 million gross tonnage mark on 29 January 2018.

HKSR offers the most competitive package, complemented by a simple and speedy registration / deregistration process. The HKSR is operated by the Government of the Hong Kong SAR through the Marine Department which has over 150 years of experience in ship registration, inspection and survey. In a nutshell, HKSR has the following advantages:

  • readily available technical support and advice by highly qualified and responsive professional staff;
  • one of the lowest tax regimes in the world;
  • no profits tax levied on overseas trade;
  • double taxation relief arrangement with major trading partners;
  • no nationality restriction on manning;
  • excellent ship management, financial, communication, legal and other support facilities.

The HKSR has an excellent reputation as a register that maintains a high quality. Hong Kong registered ships are among the best performers in the world in terms of Port State Control detention rates Note 1.

Note 1:

According to the Port State Control (PSC) detention rates (as at 15.12.2017) compiled by Bookmark to the respective paragraph. No bookmark for this item No bookmark for this item Marine Department based on inspection records from various PSC regimes, including Tokyo MOU, Paris MOU, Indian Ocean MOU, Black Sea MOU, Viña del Mar MOU, Abuja MOU, Mediterranean MOU, Caribbean MOU, Riyadh MOU and United States Coast Guard, Hong Kong registered vessels had a detention rate of 0.70% against a world average of 2.95% in 2017 (as at 6.3.2018).

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Maritime Directory - Shipping Registries

Maritime Legal Services

Hong Kong ranked 8th among 138 jurisdictions around the world and the first in Asia in terms of judicial independence in the Global Competitiveness Report 2016-2017 published by the World Economic Forum.

Under “One Country, Two Systems”, Hong Kong practises common law and maintains its independent legal system. Hong Kong has a comprehensive arbitration law and excels in shipping and commercial law. In 2011, the current Arbitration Ordinance (Cap. 609) came into effect to reform the arbitration law of Hong Kong by unifying the legislative regimes for domestic and international arbitrations on the basis of the 2006 revised version of Model Law on International Commercial Arbitration of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. Awards made in Hong Kong are enforceable in over 150 jurisdictions under the New York Convention and in the Mainland China under the arrangement for reciprocal enforcement of arbitral awards.

Hong Kong's empathy with the Asian traditions of mediation and its skills at blending the best of East and West have made it the prime centre in Asia for the resolution of disputes. Lawyers and arbitrators in Hong Kong are professionally trained in common law and proficient in both English and Chinese, with Western experience and knowledge of Chinese law and practices. Home to many of the world’s top international law firm and international arbitration institutes, Hong Kong has all along provided first-class maritime legal and arbitration services to the shipping community.

Since its establishment in 1985, the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) has been the focal point of arbitration in Hong Kong. HKIAC also provides assistance to the day-to-day operation of a number of organisations, including the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (East Asia Branch), the Hong Kong Institute of Arbitrators and the Hong Kong Mediation Council.

In 2014, the China Maritime Arbitration Commission (CMAC) opened its first overseas sub-commission in Hong Kong (CMAC Hong Kong Arbitration Center). CMAC Hong Kong Arbitration Center promotes institutional arbitration and ad hoc arbitration in Hong Kong, administers arbitral cases upon agreement of parties, and provides arbitration-related services. It aims at facilitating Hong Kong to build itself into a regional arbitration and maritime hub.

With the proud tradition of common law and up-to-date statutes, Hong Kong is a highly respected centre for shipping and commercial contract formation as well as dispute resolution.

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Maritime Directory – Maritime Legal and Arbitration

Ship Finance

Hong Kong is the leading international ship finance centre in Asia, providing comprehensive ship finance services to the shipping industry

The Hong Kong SAR Government abides by the principle of minimum intervention apart from maintaining a transparent and effective regulatory regime, allowing the market to grow freely and offer a wide range of products to suit various customers and investors.

Hong Kong has one of the highest concentrations of banking institutions in the world. Over 70 of the world's top 100 banks have operations in Hong Kong. Seven of the world's top 10 bookrunners have set up offices in Hong Kong. Apart from offering particular expertise services, Hong Kong is located advantageously in terms of time zones for communication with trading partners in other commercial centres.

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Maritime Directory – Ship Financing

Marine Insurance

Marine insurance activities in Hong Kong generally refer to hull and machinery, protection & indemnity and goods in transit (cargo). Continuing to expand in Hong Kong, the sector has advanced, comprehensive and world-renowned business insurance facilities operated by internationally experienced professionals.

12 out of the 13 members of the International Group of P&I Clubs have presence in Hong Kong, making us the largest cluster of representatives outside London. The China P & I Club is also represented in Hong Kong. Shipowners can manage complex risks and liabilities effectively. In 2016, International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) set up its Asia Hub in Hong Kong, which is the organisation's first permanent presence outside Europe.

An Asian hull insurance market was established in Hong Kong to serve Asian shipowners. Lloyd's syndicates already have a presence in Hong Kong. Some of the world's largest and most respected average adjusters have permanent offices in Hong Kong providing a full range of comprehensive priced services.

In addition, Hong Kong is also an ideal captive destination. Captive insurers enjoy a 50% reduction in the profits tax on their insurance business of offshore risks.

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Maritime Directory – Marine Insurance

Shipowning

Hong Kong is home to a strong cluster of ship owners. According to the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, its members own or manage 2 360 ships of 178.1 million deadweight tonnage as at December 2016, representing about 9.6% of the deadweight tonnage of the world's merchant fleet.

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Maritime Directory – Ship Owners/Shipping Companies

Ship Management

With decades of experience, ship management companies in Hong Kong provide professional and high quality services to ensure proper husbandry and profitable fleet deployment. There are currently about 270 ship agent and management companies in Hong Kong providing a wide range of services, such as cargo loading and unloading, crew management, machinery maintenance, ship hiring, supply of ships and insurance and claims arrangements.

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Maritime Directory – Ship Management

Classification Societies

More than a dozen vessel classification societies are represented in Hong Kong. They provide a highly-skilled workforce of surveyors capable of carrying out surveys of hull, machinery and equipment on visiting vessels. All ocean-going vessels require surveys at regular intervals in order to maintain their certification that they comply with all the appropriate international conventions in every aspect.

All the better known classification societies are represented in Hong Kong, such as the American Bureau of Shipping, Bureau Veritas, China Classification Society, DNV GL AS, Lloyd's Register of Shipping, Nippon Kaiji Kyokai, Korean Register of Shipping, RINA Services SpA and Russian Maritime Register of Shipping.

In addition to the classification societies there are many other surveying firms providing independent assessments of vessels and cargo by a host of well qualified ship and cargo surveyors for chartered, cargo owners or shippers.

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Maritime Directory – Classification Societies

Ship Agent Services

To provide support for the tens of thousand of vessels that call at Hong Kong each year, there are a large number of agents, brokers and freight forwarders providing services, including booking cargo space on visiting vessels, organising onward distribution of freight and various logistic services.

Local ship agent services providers cover a wide range of key support services to vessels calling at Hong Kong. They represent both shipping lines and individual vessels and liaise with port authorities and render a comprehensive service ranging from the supply of food, spare parts and fuel, to repatriation of seamen or arranging injured seamen for medical treatment.

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Maritime Directory – Shipping Agency

Marine Equipment

Shipbroking

Several of the largest global players in the shipbroking industry choose Hong Kong as their regional base. It is a testament to the importance of Hong Kong as a shipbroking centre in Asia.

The ability of Hong Kong's shipbrokers to develop a broad base of business outside of Hong Kong and Hong Kong's role as a major cross-trading centre for business allow Hong Kong to retain a vibrant shipbroking community.

Hong Kong has excellent talent in shipbroking, both amongst local and expatriate shipbrokers to provide as good a service as is available anywhere. In addition, Hong Kong's shipbrokers have the added advantage of being more capable in understanding the clients' requirements by virtue of having a more-hands-on knowledge of the Asian market.

Besides, Hong Kong shipbrokers are accredited to numerous international bodies such as the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and the Baltic Exchange.

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Maritime Directory – Ship Brokerage

Ship Repairing

The shipyards in Hong Kong operate a wide range of facilities to provide comprehensive maintenance and repairs services for both ocean‐going and local vessels of various types and sizes. The two biggest shipyards located off the west coast of Tsing Yi Island operate a total of three floating docks, the largest of which is capable of lifting 46 000 tonnes.

Hong Kong shipyards also undertake refurbishment and conversion of offshore oil‐rigs and support vessels.

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Maritime Directory – Ship Repair Services