Forests And Countryside Ordinance


Published: 1997-06-30

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now for only USD$20 per month, or Get a Day Pass for only USD$4.99.
Cap 96 - FORESTS AND COUNTRYSIDE ORDINANCE 1

Chapter: 96 FORESTS AND COUNTRYSIDE ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date

Long title 30/06/1997


To consolidate and amend the law relating to forests and plants, and to provide for the protection of the countryside.
(Amended 82 of 1974 s. 2)


[30 July 1937]


(Originally 11 of 1937 (Cap 96 1950))

Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997


This Ordinance may be cited as the Forests and Countryside Ordinance.
(Amended 82 of 1974 s. 3)


Section: 2 Interpretation L.N. 130 of 2007 01/07/2007


Remarks:
For the saving and transitional provisions relating to the amendments made by the Resolution of the Legislative
Council (L.N. 130 of 2007), see paragraph (12) of that Resolution.


In this Ordinance, unless the context otherwise requires-

"authorized officer" (獲受權人員) means a person authorized by the Director under section 4; (Added 14 of 1993 s.
2)

"Director" (署長) means the Director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation; (Added 14 of 1993 s. 2. Amended
L.N. 331 of 1999)

"forest" (林區) means any area of Government land covered with selfgrown trees; (Amended 29 of 1998 s. 105)
"plantation" (植林區) means any area of Government land which has been planted with trees or shrubs or sown with

the seeds of trees or shrubs; (Amended 29 of 1998 s. 105)
"Secretary" (局長) means the Secretary for the Environment. (Replaced 78 of 1999 s. 7. Amended L.N. 106 of 2002;

L.N. 130 of 2007)
(Amended 14 of 1993 s. 2)


Section: 3 Power of Secretary to make regulations 30/06/1997


(1) The Secretary may by regulation provide for-
(a) the protection of trees, shrubs, and other plants from destruction, injury or removal;
(b) (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 3)
(c) any such other matters as may appear to the Secretary advisable for the protection of forests and plants.

(Amended L.N. 63 of 1992; 14 of 1993 s. 3)
(2) Regulations made under this section may provide that a contravention of any provision thereof constitutes

an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding $25000. (Added 14 of 1993 s. 3)

Section: 4 Authorized officers 30/06/1997


The Director may, subject to such limitations as he thinks fit, authorize in writing any public officer or class of
public officer to exercise any of the powers or perform any of the duties conferred or imposed on an authorized officer
under this Ordinance.

(Replaced 14 of 1993 s. 4)




Cap 96 - FORESTS AND COUNTRYSIDE ORDINANCE 2

Section: 5 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 6 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 7 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 8 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 9 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 10 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 11 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 12 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 13 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 14 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 15 (Repealed 14 of 1993 s. 5) 30/06/1997




Section: 16 Lighting fires in forests, etc. 30/06/1997


OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND FORFEITURE


(1) Any person who-
(a) has lit, or is using a fire which was lit, in or near any forest, plantation or area of open countryside; or
(b) is in a group of persons using a fire which was so lit, whether or not by any person in the group,

shall be guilty of an offence unless he shows that-
(i) the lighting of a fire in the place in which the fire was lit was reasonable in all the circumstances;

and
(ii) he took all reasonable steps to prevent the fire from damaging or endangering anything growing

in the forest, plantation or area of open countryside. (Amended 14 of 1993 s. 6)
(2) For the purposes of this section, land shall not be treated as not being open countryside solely by reason of

the fact that it is held under lease, licence or permit.
(Replaced 82 of 1974 s. 5)


Section: 17 Powers of inspection, search, seizure and arrest 30/06/1997


(1) If an authorized officer has reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed or is about to
commit or intends to commit an offence under this Ordinance or any regulation made thereunder or any enactment



Cap 96 - FORESTS AND COUNTRYSIDE ORDINANCE 3

specified in the Schedule, he may, upon production of written evidence of his identity-
(a) stop the person for the purpose of requiring that he produce for inspection any special permit issued to

him under section 23;
(b) detain the person for a reasonable period while the authorized officer inquires about the suspected

commission of the offence;
(c) search the person and his property for anything that is likely to be of value to the investigation of the

offence; and
(d) seize any trees, shrubs or plants or any parts thereof or any utensils, equipment or appliances believed

to be or to be capable of being evidence of the commission of the offence.
(2) It shall be lawful for an authorized officer to arrest without warrant any person whom he reasonably

suspects of having committed- (Amended L.N. 63 of 1992)
(a) an offence under section 16(1) or 21 or under any enactment specified in the Schedule;
(b) an offence under section 20 or any regulation made under this Ordinance, if it appears to the

authorized officer that service of a summons is impracticable because-
(i) the name of the person is unknown to, and cannot readily be ascertained by, the authorized

officer;
(ii) the authorized officer has reasonable grounds for doubting whether a name given by the person

as his name is his real name;
(iii) the person has failed to give a satisfactory address for service; or
(iv) the authorized officer has reasonable grounds for doubting whether an address given by the

person is a satisfactory address for service.
(3) If any person who may lawfully be arrested under subsection (2) forcibly resists the endeavour to arrest him

or attempts to evade the arrest, an authorized officer may use all means necessary to effect the arrest.
(Replaced 14 of 1993 s. 7)


Section: 18 Power to amend Schedule 34 of 2000 01/07/1997


Remarks:
Adaptation amendments retroactively made - see 34 of 2000 s. 3


The Chief Executive in Council may by order signified in the Gazette amend the Schedule in any manner
whatsoever.

(Amended 34 of 2000 s. 3)

Section: 19 Issue of search warrant in certain cases 30/06/1997


Whenever it appears to a magistrate, upon the oath of any person, that there is reasonable cause to suspect that
an offence under this Ordinance or any regulation made thereunder or any enactment specified in the Schedule has
been committed and that any trees, shrubs or plants or any parts thereof or any utensils, equipment or appliances
believed to be or to be capable of being evidence of the commission of the offence are contained in any building or
place, the magistrate may, by warrant directed to an authorized officer, empower him with such assistants as may be
necessary, by day or night-

(a) to enter, and, if necessary, break into, the building or place and to search for and seize any trees, shrubs
or plants or any parts thereof, utensils, equipment or appliances which may be found there; and

(b) to arrest any person who may appear to have the trees, shrubs or plants or any parts thereof, utensils,
equipment or appliances in his possession, custody or control.

(Replaced 14 of 1993 s. 8)

Section: 19A Taking arrested person to police station 30/06/1997


Where an authorized officer arrests a person under section 17 or 19 he shall forthwith take the person to the
nearest police station and shall there hand him over to the custody of a police officer and thereupon the provisions of
section 52 of the Police Force Ordinance (Cap 232) shall apply.

(Added 14 of 1993 s. 8)




Cap 96 - FORESTS AND COUNTRYSIDE ORDINANCE 4

Section: 20 Assaulting or resisting or obstructing authorized officer 30/06/1997


Any person who assaults or resists or obstructs any authorized officer in the execution of his duty shall be guilty
of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine of $10000.

(Amended 14 of 1993 s. 9)

Section: 21 Acts prohibited in forests, etc. 30/06/1997


Any person who, without lawful authority or excuse, in any forest or plantation-
(a) cuts grass, removes turf or earth, rakes pine needles;
(b) plucks or damages any bud, blossom or leaf of any tree, shrub or plant;
(c) trespasses or pastures cattle or goats or permits cattle or goats to trespass;
(d) fells, cuts, burns or otherwise destroys any trees or growing plants, (Added 14 of 1993 s. 10)

shall be guilty of an offence.
(Amended 48 of 1972 s. 4; 14 of 1993 s. 10)


Section: 22 Penalties and forfeiture 30/06/1997


(1) Any person who contravenes section 16(1) or 21 shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $25000
and to imprisonment for 1 year. (Amended 6 of 1948 s. 7; 14 of 1993 s. 11)

(2) Upon the conviction of any person for an offence under this Ordinance or any regulation made thereunder
or any enactment specified in the Schedule any trees, shrubs or plants or any parts thereof or any utensils, equipment
or appliances seized under section 17 or 19 in respect of which the offence was committed shall, without further order,
be forfeited. (Replaced 14 of 1993 s. 11)

(3) Where a person who is prosecuted for an offence under this Ordinance or any regulation made thereunder
or any enactment specified in the Schedule is acquitted, the magistrate may order any trees, shrubs or plants or any
parts thereof or any utensils, equipment or appliances seized under section 17 or 19 in respect of the offence for which
the prosecution was brought-

(a) to be released or returned to the person from whom they were seized or to the owner thereof; or
(b) to be forfeited. (Added 14 of 1993 s. 11)

(4) Where any trees, shrubs or plants or any parts thereof or any utensils, equipment or appliances have been
seized under section 17 or 19 but no prosecution for an offence under this Ordinance or any regulation made
thereunder or any enactment specified in the Schedule has been brought in respect of the trees, shrubs or plants or any
parts thereof or any utensils, equipment or appliances for whatever reason, the Director or authorized officer may
apply to a magistrate for an order in respect thereof and the magistrate may order the trees, shrubs or plants or any
parts thereof or any utensils, equipment or appliances seized under section 17 or 19-

(a) to be released or returned to the person from whom they were seized or to the owner thereof; or
(b) to be forfeited. (Added 14 of 1993 s. 11)

(5) Any trees, shrubs or plants or any parts thereof or any utensils, equipment or appliances seized under
section 17 or 19 which are forfeited under this section may be sold or otherwise disposed of in such manner as the
Director thinks fit. (Added 14 of 1993 s. 11)

Section: 23 Special permits 30/06/1997


Notwithstanding any provision of this Ordinance, the Director may grant to any person a special permit in
writing, upon such terms and conditions as he thinks fit, to do anything which is prohibited under this Ordinance
where he is satisfied that no unnecessary harm to any forest, plantation or the countryside would be caused.

(Added 14 of 1993 s. 12)

Schedule: SCHEDULE 30/06/1997


[sections 17, 19 & 22]


Ordinance Short title Sections, etc.



Cap 96 - FORESTS AND COUNTRYSIDE ORDINANCE 5

Cap 200



Cap 210

Crimes Ordinance.


Theft Ordinance.

S. 60 in respect of anything forming part
of land.

S. 9 in respect of anything forming part
of land.

(Amended 21 of 1970 s. 35; 48 of 1972 s. 4; 14 of 1993 s. 13)