Speech at Panel on Security

Proposal to revamp the Dangerous Goods (General) Regulations and to amend the Dangerous Goods (Application and Exemption) Regulation 2012

International standards in the regulation of dangerous goods

Noting that DGO was first enacted in 1956 and the relevant international system kept updating from time to time, Mr CHAN Chun-ying expressed concern about how the Administration would keep the local regulatory system in line with the latest international standards.

US for S explained that to align with the international standards, DGO and its subsidiary legislation were reviewed in 2002 and 2012 respectively. However, the current legislative amendment proposal was more complicated in the context that more laboratory testings had to be conducted and various stakeholders consulted. It took time to consolidate different views before finalizing the legislative amendments. US for S took the opportunity to appeal to members’ support for the Government’s legislative proposal.

AD(L&C)/FSD responded that the Government would make reference to standards set by international organizations in the International Maritime Dangerous Goods (“IMDG”) Code, the European Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and the International Air Transport Association Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Key points of the legislative amendment proposal

Mr CHAN Chun-ying expressed concern about the introduction of the concept of “limited quantity” in the legislative amendment proposal and the storage quantity of DG in consumer packs, which were commonly found in daily use by members of the public.

AD(L&C)/FSD advised that “limited quantity” was an international concept adopted to indicate the size of a package that was small enough to be exempted from DG marking and labelling requirements. There was no separate exempt quantity for DG in consumer packs under the existing DGO. A consultancy study commissioned by the Government had found that relevant exempt quantity could be relaxed. By taking the international standards, risk assessment results and views collected in public consultations and from relevant trades into consideration, the exempt quantity for DG in consumer packs were proposed to be 1 000 litres in an uninhabited compartment and 5 000 litres in an industrial warehouse respectively. In this connection, FSD had discussed the matter with the Wholesale and Retail Task Force of the Business Facilitation Advisory Committee.

Mr CHAN Chun-ying was concerned about the regulation of rubber tyres of vehicles under DGO.

AD(L&C)/FSDsaid that rubber tyres of vehicles were combustible goods in Category 9A under DGO and, when incinerating, would emit a large quantity of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and black smokes. If the total storage quantity was in excess of 50 rubber tyres in premises used for non-industrial purposes, the person in control should send a notice in writing to the Director of Fire Services in respect of the details of storage within 48 hours. FSD would follow up and issue fire safety directions as appropriate. As long as relevant fire safety directions were complied with, permission would be given to store over 50 rubber tyres in premises used for non-industrial purposes. For premises used for industrial purposes, FSD should be notified if the storage quantity was in excess of 500 rubber tyres.In the last 12 months, FSD handled a total of 10 cases in respect of the storage of Category 9A DG.