(1) Subject to subsection (2), no vessel shall proceed to sea unless there is in relation to the vessel a valid port clearance in writing obtained in the prescribed manner.
(2) Subsection (1) shall not apply-
(a) to any warship or other ship for the time being used by the Chinese Peopleˇ¦s Liberation Army, the Central Peopleˇ¦s Government or the Government of any State for other than commercial purposes; (Amended 2 of 2012 s. 3)
(b) to any vessel for the time being used by the Hong Kong Government;
(c) to any vessel of a class that is exempted by the Director by notice in the Gazette from the operation of this section;
(d) to any vessel that is obliged to leave any port or the waters of Hong Kong due to weather conditions, or other circumstances beyond the control of its master, in the interests of safety of the vessel, its cargo, crew or passengers.
(3) If subsection (1) is contravened, the master commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $10000 and to imprisonment for 6 months.