LC Paper No. LS 243/98-99
Legal Service Division Report on
Subsidiary Legislation Gazetted on 9 July 1999
*Post Office Ordinance (Cap. 98)
|Date of Tabling in LegCo : ||14 July 1999
|Amendment to be made by : ||13 October 1999 (or 20 October 1999 if extended by resolution)
Post Office (Amendment) Regulation 1999 (L.N. 178)
This Regulation amends the Post Office Regulations (Cap. 98 sub. leg.) to -
- provide that the Postmaster General may issue money orders for payment in a place outside Hong Kong and empower him to issue and pay money orders at rates of exchange fixed by him from time to time and in any currency as he thinks fit;
- increase the maximum amount of a money order issued or to be paid in a place outside Hong Kong from HK$1,000 to US$5,000 or the equivalent of such sum to facilitate reciprocal remittance services;
- provide that a money order issued or to be paid in a place outside Hong Kong remaining unpaid after the last day of the 3rd month following the month of issue shall be void to bring it in line with the international practice set out in the Postal Financial Manual of the Universal Postal Union;
- revise the existing fee levels for the following non-local money order services, which were set in 1993, from $21 to the new levels as follows -
|Money Order Service||Proposed|
|(i)||issue of money orders for payment in a place outside Hong Kong
||$40 + 0.5% of the remitted amount
|(ii) ||advice of payment||$11
|(iii)||stop payment of a money order for payment in a place outside Hong Kong||$40
|(iv) ||issue of duplicate of a money order for payment in a place outside Hong Kong||$40
|(v) ||refund of a void money order for payment in a place outside Hong Kong||$40
- cancel the fee for request for information on the payment of a money order; and
- repeal the provisions relating to the local money orders as the demand for the local money order service no longer exists as a result of the rapid development of personal banking services in Hong Kong.
The Regulation also adds a new provision relating to the Freepost service. The Freepost service enables a person to obtain transmission through the local post without the prepayment of postage subject to a charge for such service. The Freepost service is intended to provide a quick and cost-effective postal service to support the marketing activities of the business community. The proposed charge payable by a Freepost holder is the aggregate of a surcharge of $0.6 and the postage.
This Regulation will come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Economic Services by notice in the Gazette. The Administration plans to bring the Regulation into operation in November 1999.
Members may refer to the LegCo Brief (Ref.: ESB CR 1/73/3231/48(96)) dated 9 July 1999 issued by the Economic Services Bureau for details. According to the LegCo Brief, the proposed fee levels for the various non-local money order services are comparable to those charged by banks for similar services.
According to the Administration, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Hong Kong Association of Banks have been consulted. They have no objection to the proposed reciprocal remittance services.
Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order (L.N. 561 of 1995)
Air Navigation (Hong Kong) (Amendment of Schedule 16) Order 1999 (L.N. 179)
This Order amends Schedule 16 ("the Schedule") to the Air Navigation (Hong Kong) Order 1995 (L.N. 561 of 1995) in order to give effect to the 1999-2000 English language edition of the International Civil Aviation Organization's Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air.
The key changes in the 1999-2000 edition of the Technical Instructions affecting the Schedule are as follows :
- to provide that the Technical Instructions do not apply to dangerous goods which are to provide aid in connection with search and rescue operations and vehicles which are carried in aircraft designed or modified for vehicle ferry operations; and
- to make consequential amendments to the Schedule following the repeal of Chapter 2.7 of Part I of the 1997-1998 edition of the Technical Instructions, which prohibited the transport of chemical oxygen generators on passenger aircraft.
Members may refer to the LegCo Brief (Ref.: ESB CR 15/951/49) dated 7 July 1999 issued by the Economic Services Bureau for details.
Telecommunication Ordinance (Cap. 106)
Telecommunication (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulation 1999 (L.N. 180)
This Regulation amends the Satellite Master Antenna Television ("SMATV") Licence in Schedule 3 to the Telecommunication Regulations (Cap. 106 sub. leg.) to expand the scope of services permitted to be received and distributed by SMATV systems by: -
- permitting other licensed subscription television services, including subscription television services under a Satellite Television Uplink and Downlink Licence and video-on-demand programme services licensed under the Television Ordinance (Cap. 52) to be received and distributed under a SMATV Licence;
- permitting telecommunications messages transmitted from satellites to be received and distributed under a SMATV Licence with effect from 1 January 2000; and
- permitting SMATV systems to receive and distribute commercial television broadcasting programmes, i.e. those of Asia Television Limited and Television Broadcasting Limited, through interconnection with communal aerial broadcast distribution systems.
The Regulation also amends the General Conditions in the SMATV Licence to -
- empower the Telecommunications Authority ("TA") to inspect SMATV systems and the licensee's documents;
- prohibit a SMATV licensee from transmitting telecommunications messages received from satellites to any location outside the premises of users of the SMATV system;
- require a SMATV licensee to distribute programmes, services, telecommunications messages and signals in accordance with a transmission plan approved and modified from time to time by the TA;
- require a SMATV licensee to observe the provisions and recommendations under the Constitution and Convention of the International Telecommunication Union; and
- make consequential amendments as a result of the expansion of the scope of services permitted to be received and distributed by SMATV systems.
According to the LegCo Brief (Ref. : ITBB/B 209/3 (98) T/C 136/98) dated 7 July 1999 issued by the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau, the proposal to allow SMATV licensees to distribute subscription television services in an opened-up television market was included in the consultation paper on 1998 Review of Television Policy published in September 1998. There was unanimous support for this proposal.
This Regulation will come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting by notice in the Gazette. At the meeting of the LegCo Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting on 12 July 1999 when the Panel was briefed on the Regulation, the Administration indicated that it intended to bring this Regulation into operation on 1 September 1999.
Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Ordinance (Cap. 520)
Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Regulation (L.N. 181)
This Regulation sets out the obligations and powers of the Discovery Bay Road Tunnel Company Limited ("the Company") in relation to the Discovery Bay Tunnel Link ("the Tunnel Link"). The Tunnel Link is a private road tunnel to be built, maintained and operated by the Company at its cost. Construction works are now underway and it is scheduled for opening in December 1999.
The provisions in this Regulation are similar in nature to regulations made for existing "Build-Operate-Transfer" tunnels, such as the Western Harbour Crossing Regulation (Cap. 436 sub. leg.) and the Tai Lam Tunnel and Yuen Long Approach Road Regulation (Cap. 474 sub. leg.).
The obligations of the Company to be imposed by the Regulation include the provision of equipment and facilities for traffic control, communication, rescue and recovery, ventilation, illumination and power supply; provision of adequate and trained personnel for the safe and orderly passage of vehicles through the Tunnel Link and for the control and safety of vehicles and persons in the tunnel area; conducting and rendering assistance in fire fighting or rescue operations; taking measures to control the carriage of dangerous goods through the Tunnel Link and display of notices of tolls in conspicuous places at both ends of the Tunnel Link.
The Regulation also empowers the Company to erect and place specified traffic signs, light signals and road markings and requires a tunnel officer to wear a uniform, and to carry and produce on reasonable request means of identity and evidence of his appointment.
Financial penalties may be imposed on the Company under section 35 of the Discovery Bay Tunnel Link Ordinance (Cap. 520) if the Company fails to comply with any requirement of the Regulation.
This Regulation will come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Transport by notice in the Gazette.
According to the LegCo Brief (Ref.: TRAN 4/02/43(99) XVI) dated 7 July 1999 issued by the Transport Bureau, the Company has been consulted and it agreed to all the provisions in the Regulation.
Merchant Shipping (Safety) Ordinance (Cap. 369)
Merchant Shipping (Safety) (High Speed Craft) (Amendment) Regulation 1999 (L.N. 182)
The Amendment Regulation extends the application of the Merchant Shipping (Safety) (High Speed Craft) Regulation (Cap. 369 sub. leg.) ("the principal Regulation") to high speed craft ("HSC") constructed before the commencement of the principal Regulation where the owner of the craft requests such application and the Director of Marine approves such application.
The principal Regulation, which has come into operation on 1 March 1999, requires HSC engaged in international voyages and in voyages from Hong Kong to ports outside Hong Kong to be constructed, equipped, operated and maintained in accordance with the requirements of the International Code of Safety for High Speed Craft, adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee of the International Maritime Organization. However, it does not apply to HSC constructed before the commencement of the principal Regulation unless the craft have undergone major repairs or modifications on or after the commencement. At present, HSC constructed before 1 March 1999 are regulated under other subsidiary legislation made under the Merchant Shipping (Safety) Ordinance (Cap. 369).
According to the LegCo Brief (Ref: ECON 14/3231/79(98) VII) dated 6 July 1999 issued by the Economic Services Bureau, owners of HSC have indicated that the existence of two regulatory systems for HSC is unsatisfactory and have requested that all Hong Kong HSC should be regulated under the principal Regulation irrespective of the year of their construction.
The High Speed Craft Consultative Committee has been consulted and has no objection to the Amendment Regulation.
The Amendment Regulation will come into operation on a day to be appointed by the Secretary for Economic Services by notice in the Gazette.
Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60)
Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (Amendment of Schedules 1 and 2) Order 1999 (L.N. 183)
This Order amends Schedules 1 and 2 to the Import and Export (Strategic Commodities) Regulations (Cap. 60 sub. leg.) to reflect the most recent changes in the control lists of strategic commodities adopted by various international non-proliferation regimes and conventions. Those changes relate to controls over telecommunications equipment, computers, missile technology and nuclear weapons.
Under section 6B of the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60) ("the Ordinance"), the Legislative Council may, within the period of 28 days after it is laid before the Council, by resolution, repeal the Order. If, however, the period of 28 days would expire after the end of a session and before the second Council meeting in the next session, that period shall be extended and shall expire on the day after that second meeting. The period for repealing the Order may be extended to the next Council meeting by resolution.
This Order will come into operation, if the Legislative Council does not repeal the Order under section 6B of the Ordinance before the expiry of the period to repeal it, on a day to be appointed by the Director-General of Trade by notice published in the Gazette.
For more information, Members may refer to the LegCo Brief (no reference number provided) issued by the Trade and Industry Bureau in July 1999.
Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132)
Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Public Markets) (Designation and Amendment of Tenth Schedule) (No. 4) Order 1999 (L.N. 184)
Declaration of Markets in the Regional Council Area (Amendment) (No. 2) Declaration 1999 (L.N. 185)
L.N. 184 designates the Tsing Yi Market as a public market. L.N. 185 declares the Tsing Yi Market to be a market to which the Public Health and Municipal Services Ordinance (Cap. 132) applies.
These two Orders will come into operation on 1 September 1999.
Tax Reserve Certificates Ordinance (Cap. 289)
Tax Reserve Certificates (Fourth Series) (Amendment) Rules 1999 (L.N. 186)
These Rules amend the Tax Reserve Certificates (Fourth Series) Rules (Cap. 289 sub. leg.) to specify the conditions for the maintaining of tax reserve certificates accounts for the payment of tax and to provide for consequential amendments resulting therefrom. Those conditions include the use of the entries in the account on a first-in-first-out basis in the payment of tax, entry in the account of any interest accrued and the requirement for the Commissioner of Inland Revenue to issue an account statement to the account holder.
These Rules will come into operation on 1 September 1999.
Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Ordinance 1999 (24 of 1999)
Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Ordinance 1999 (24 of 1999) (Commencement) Notice 1999 (L.N. 187)
This Notice appoints 1 September 1999 as the day on which the Tax Reserve Certificates (Amendment) Ordinance 1999 (24 of 1999) will come into operation.
The Amendment Ordinance improves the tax reserve certificates ("TRCs") system by abolishing paper certificates for normal TRCs and replacing them by scripless TRCs and paying TRCs interest at moving rates prescribed for conditional TRCs.
Fung Sau-kuen, Connie
Assistant Legal Adviser
Legislative Council Secretariat
15 July 1999
* denotes fee increases