Bulletin: Momentous week

This past week has seen some major announcements both here in the UK and in Brussels which will impact the future of our industry.

In Westminster the Transport Secretary published his long awaited Transport Decarbonisation Plan. We were pleased to see a whole section of the document on the maritime and shipping sector but it is now imperative the government takes bold action at the Spending Review and backs the industry with serious investment.

To ensure we keep up with countries around the world we need a sea-change in the amount the government invests in the UK shipping and maritime sector. Without funding for electric charging points for ships and technologies to support zero emission shipping, we simply won’t reach the government’s own targets. I wrote to the Daily Telegraph on these exact points.

Our European friends published their own plans on Wednesday, their ‘Fit for 55’ proposals. We know that the global shipping industry is in agreement that more needs to be done to cut emissions. However, here at the Chamber we continue to believe international regulations are the best way to create a real, lasting change across the sector.

We have seen how regional measures can distort the market and we encourage our EU partners to work collaboratively with the industry taking these proposals to the IMO to accelerate the decarbonisation journey.  

We also had some positive news from Scotland this week with the government in Holyrood moving the whole country to Level 0 which indicates that cruises on domestic itineraries can now visit Scottish ports from July 19. We will continue to work with the Scottish Government as we seek further clarity as restrictions ease.  More widely, in partnership with CLIA, we continue to work closely with government on the restart plan for international cruising in line with the recommendations from the Global Travel Taskforce.

With Nautilus International, we have written jointly to the Secretary of State for Transport to express concerns that the Government's Nationality and Borders Bill may criminalise ships' Masters and crew for recovering persons in distress at sea - as they are required by international law to do - and disembark them in the UK. The letter calls for the removal of this threat of prosecution from the Bill and if any members have any questions on this, please get in touch with Policy Director Tim Springett.

Finally this week I was delighted to welcome to the Chamber our newest Charity member, the Marine Society and Sea Cadets. Its mission is to help both aspiring and serving seafarers realise their ambitions through education, training and financial support and we are delighted they are now part of the Chamber.