PLC Paper No. LS 92
Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Provisional Legislative Council
on 13 February 1998
Legal Service Division Report on
Road Traffic (Validation of Collection of Fees) Bill
Object of the Bill
To validate the collection, since 9 November 1995, of fees paid for the supply of forms of certificates of roadworthiness in respect of private cars or light goods vehicles.
Provisional LegCo Brief Reference
2.TBCR 25/5591/79(95) Pt. 9 of 22 January 1998 issued by the Transport Bureau.
Date of First Reading
3.11 February 1998.
4.Certificates of roadworthiness are required to support the renewal of vehicle licences of private cars over 6 years old and light goods vehicles over one year old. Fees have been charged by the Transport Department since 1985 for the supply of forms of certificates to designated car testing centre to recover Government cost of providing such service. The fees were set out in paragraph 6(c) of Schedule 8 to the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374) (懀he Ordinance�. Under section 88H of the Ordinance, the Governor may by order published in the Gazette amend the Schedule.
5.On 6 October 1995 the Road Traffic Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 8) Order 1995 (L.N. 453 of 1995) (懀he 1995 Order� was published in the Gazette. The 1995 Order sought to repeal paragraph 6(b) and (c) of Schedule 8 containing the old fees and substitute new paragraph 6(b) and (c) containing respectively the revised fees charged by car testing centres for examination of private cars and light goods vehicles and fees charged by Government for the supply of forms of certificates of roadworthiness with effect from 9 November 1995.
6.However, the fee proposal in respect of certificates of roadworthiness (new paragraph 6(c) of Schedule 8) was rejected by a Legislative Council Subcommittee. On 2 November 1995, a motion (L.N. 513 of 1995) was moved by a Member to amend the 1995 Order by repealing paragraph 6(c). However, the motion did not restore the original paragraph containing the old fees.
7.Despite the repeal of paragraph 6(c) of Schedule 8 to the Ordinance, the Transport Department has continued to collect fees, at the pre-9 November 1995 level until 1 February 1997 when the fees were revised, for the supply of certificates of roadworthiness since 9 November 1995.
8.The Bill seeks to validate and provide retrospective statutory authority for the collection, since 9 November 1995, of fees paid for the supply of forms of certificates of roadworthiness as specified in the Schedule to the Bill. Such validation is necessary in light of the repeal of the paragraph in Schedule 8 which empowers the Commissioner for Transport to collect such fees.
9.Members may refer to paragraph 8 of the PLC Brief where the Administration sets out the detailed reasons to justify the legislative amendments contained in the Bill.
10.For Members�information, the Road Traffic Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 8) (No. 2) Order 1998 (L.N. 50 of 1998) (懀he 1998 Order� has been made by the Chief Executive to restore paragraph 6(c) to Schedule 8, which specifies the fees for the supply of a form of certificate of roadworthiness for a private car and a light goods vehicle as $58. This is the level of fees being collected since 1 February 1997. The 1998 Order, which was published in the Gazette on 23 January 1998, has come into operation on the same date. Members will see the 1998 Order reported on in PLC Paper No. LS 89 as an item of subsidiary legislation.
11.With the proposed amendments in the Bill and the 1998 Order, the Commissioner for Transport could continue to collect fees for the supply of forms of certificates of roadworthiness under the Ordinance.
12.There has not been any public consultation on the Bill.
Consultation with the Provisional LegCo Panel
13.An Information Paper on the Bill was circulated to members of the Panel on Transport in January 1998
14.The Bill is intended to rectify a technical omission as a result of the inadvertent repeal of paragraph 6(c) of Schedule 8 to the Ordinance. No change of policy is involved. The legal and drafting aspects of the Bill are in order.
FUNG Sau-kuen, Connie
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
9 February 1998