Bulletin: Chamber efforts pay off

*UK and Scottish government policy around testing and seafarers exemptions is developing. The information below may now be out of date. For the latest situation please contact the Chamber policy team.*

Everyone across our industry knows about the excellent work seafarers have done over the last 12 months bringing us food, medicines and other vital supplies. Those outside our industry often don’t recognise this and it is our job at the Chamber to inform government and others about the role seafarers play and their critical importance to our economy. That is why I was delighted this week to see our efforts succeed as the government confirmed all seafarers, irrespective of nationality, will be exempted from Red List (Acute List in Scotland) country restrictions, most notably mandatory hotel quarantine, with effect from 0400 this morning.  This change represents a significant win for the Chamber, which has lobbied both the UK and Scottish Governments for seafarers to be exempted from the restrictions. Seafarers remain exempted from other restrictions on persons arriving in the UK, including quarantine and testing requirements. If any members have any questions on this please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team at the Chamber.

Safety is one of our top priorities at the Chamber and this week I was delighted, along with the British Tugowners Association and six other organisations, to issue a notice against the continued illegal use of Dangerously Weighted Heaving Lines (DWHLs) in UK ports and harbours.  The use of DWHLs is a significant concern to the maritime community. When thrown by ship’s crew passing mooring ropes or retrieving a messenger line, DWHLs are dangerous and have caused serious injury. There is no necessity or justification for the use of DWHLs in UK ports and harbours, and the new notice demonstrates the maritime sector’s commitment to call out bad practice and to strive for the safety of those working on board tugs or on the quayside.

Some of you reading this may know that a few weeks ago we were delighted to sign up to the Maritime UK Mental Health in Maritime Pledge. Mental wellbeing must be of paramount importance for all of us across the maritime sector and next Tuesday the Chamber will be launching our very own Mental Health Practical Guidelines during a webinar. A huge amount of work has gone into this document from the team and the webinar will be a great event so please do book your place if you haven’t done so already.

Next week I will be joining a cruise event discussing the issues around both domestic and international cruise restart. The joint Trade Travel Gazette / PWC event is next Thursday at 2pm and you can register your place here.

Finally this week nominations for the 2021 Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service are currently open, and close on 31 May 2021. The Medal is awarded for meritorious service where an individual has shown devotion to duty, exemplary service and been an outstanding example to others. If you know of anyone who deserves this prestigious recognition please do complete the relevant forms which can be found here.