Hong Kong hosts one of the most spectacular harbors in the entire world, topped with a long coastline and a myriad of charming islands, and yacht clubs where boats can moor, and people can enjoy the views and the blue, clear waters of Hong Kong during long and hot summer days. Those who decide to have their own pleasure boat must register and insure their vessel before being able to enjoy it fully. Here, the team at Kwiksure presents a short guide to boat ownership and registration in Hong Kong.
Types of private leisure vessels in Hong Kong
Pleasure boats (a Class IV vessel), which are the type of boats we are discussing in this article, come in three categories under the local licensing system, and they are as follows: auxiliary powered yacht, a cruiser, and an open cruiser, which resemble a lot of Hong Konger’s favorite ‘junk boats’.
Upon purchase, all of these private leisure boats must be licensed to use and insured for third-party risks of not less than HK$5,000,000 to lawfully cruise on Hong Kong waters.
Boat registration in Hong Kong
All vessels must be registered with the Hong Kong Marine Department. Those who want their pleasure boats licensed must fill in an MD 515 form, and pay the appropriate fee to the Hong Kong Marine Department, which is calculated based on the certificate’s grade linked to the boat's length, engine type (diesel, petrol, and outboard), and engine power. Such ownership/operating license is issued on a yearly basis.
The last step of getting your boat registered is to paint or affix the allocated Certificate of Ownership number on each side of your vessel, as close to amidships as possible. After that, the only step needed to be water-ready is to obtain at least the minimum required third-party boat insurance.
Pleasure boat insurance
On the water, first and foremost, the safety of you and other people is the most important. Whether you are mooring a luxury yacht in a Dubai marina, or a small shell in Sai Kung, you should be aware that, like being on the road, similar dangers lurk on the water. The Hong Kong government knows this too, and that’s why boat insurance is required by law here. Cruising without proper insurance coverage may result in your license being revoked, or you having to pay a monetary fine set up by the Marine Department.
Pleasure boat insurance usually includes protection against liability towards third-parties in the event of a collision or accident, and boat owners often also include insurance for property damage to the boat or yacht. Whether you are buying a new vessel, or a local, pre-owned boat, third-party insurance should start the moment you take ownership over the boat.