Applicability: Owners and managers of Hong Kong registered vessels

The IMO Code on Noise Levels On Board Ships (the ‘Noise Code 2012’) enters into force on 1 July, 2014, under new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-12*.

Hong Kong flag administration requirements

The Hong Kong flag administration has issued Merchant Shipping Information Note 14/2014 regarding requirements for protection against noise for Hong Kong registered ships. The Note contains additional requirements for ships constructed on or after 1 January, 2009, for which the Noise Code 2012 is not mandatory.

The additional requirements apply to all Hong Kong registered vessels of 1,600gt and above which fall within the scope of SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-12.2, namely all vessels which are delivered before 1 July, 2018, that:

  • are contracted for construction before 1 July 2014, with the keel laid on or after 1 January 2009; or
  • In the absence of a building contract, have their keel laid on or after 1 January, 2009, but before 1 January, 2015;

and that have not previously had noise measurements taken and do not have a noise survey report on board.

These ships are required to:

  • carry out a noise survey, covering at least the requirements in paragraphs 2.8.3, 4.2.1, 4.3 and the model format in Appendix 1 of the ‘Noise Code 1981’ as adopted by IMO Resolution. A.468(XII); and
  • take measures to reduce machinery noise in machinery spaces to acceptable levels as specified in paragraph 4.2.1 of the ‘Noise Code 1981’ as adopted by IMO res. A.468(XII).

They must do so not later than the first safety construction renewal survey on or after 1 July, 2014, but before 1 July, 2018 (if not already done as part of an initial survey). A noise survey that has been conducted on board a sister vessel with identical construction and machinery will not be acceptable.

Ships which fall under SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-12.1

Ships which fall within the scope of SOLAS Regulation II-1/3-12.1 are required to comply with the relevant requirements of SOLAS Chapter II-1, Regulations 3-12.3 and 3-12.4.

The party that conducts the noise measurements and issues the noise survey report (such as a shipyard, ship design consultant or specialist firm) must be suitably approved.

* The IMO Noise Code 2012 was adopted by IMO Resolution MSC.337(91) and will be made mandatory by new SOLAS regulation II-1/3-12, adopted by Resolution MSC.338(91).

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