Update on the work of the Chamber over the last six months

The last six months has been an incredibly busy time for the Chamber, working with members on a range of high-profile subjects and issues relating to day-to-day business.

We have lobbied on our members behalf and had some notable successes, including:

  • Any seafarer visiting the UK, regardless of nationality, now has access to Covid-19 vaccines
  • Seafarers arriving in England, Northern Ireland and Wales no longer have to quarantine after returning from red list countries
  • After months of engagement with HMG and Cruise Lines International Association we saw the return of both domestic cruise and international cruising
  • The launch our new Mental Health Practical Guidance and the signing of the Mental Health in Maritime Pledge
  • Hosting a two-day Safety Culture Conference
  • Securing a mandate from members on the development of the National Minimum Wage
  • Being used as a focal group for the implementation for the UK MRV which reduces administrative burden and costs for the industry
  • Developing and assisting an agreement on Short-term measures and influencing international discussions on tackling climate change
  • Establishing high level Market Based Measures and Carbon Working groups which are driving discussions on the future of green shipping policies
  • Working with Oil and Gas UK on health and safety and vessel emissions and completing a survey on offshore vessels emissions
  • Announcing the UK shipping industry supports net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and co-signing the Global Maritime Forum’s Call to Action for Shipping Decarbonisation
  • Representing members views in the Global Travel Taskforce
  • Successfully working with the Government on Carriers Liability for the passenger locator form, which members have benefitted from
  • Successfully securing the release of crew from the Philippines who were wrongfully put in managed quarantine after their arrival in the UK. Only through Chamber work were these crew members released early
  • The return of face-to-face and hybrid meetings
  • Creating and launching new TV style programme highlighting the pivotal role our members are playing in tackling decarbonisation.

Highlights from the Chamber

Bringing the shipping industry together in a new forum

In June we were delighted to see so many colleagues from around the world join us as the Chamber hosted the first ever M7 event.

The M7 is a new forum for the national ship owning associations of the G7 members and to match the invitation list for this year’s G7, which was hosted in Cornwall, we also extended the invitation to Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea. The Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping, Chief Executive and Secretary General of BIMCO and a representative from ECSA also joined the meeting.

During the two-hour virtual meeting delegates discussed issues around digitalising documents to speed up trade, green R&D projects, the crew change crisis and seafarer vaccinations. There was agreement across all nations that more investment is needed from governments and industry to develop the technologies for a cleaner and greener shipping industry and that the G7 governments should be urged to back the shipping industry’s proposed $5bn R&D decarbonisation fund.

Return of cruise

After 16 months of pressure, lobbying and hundreds of meetings the government finally confirmed at the beginning of August that international cruises could restart from England.

Domestic cruises have successfully run from May, but international cruises had been prohibited.

The Chamber developed new protocols to ensure the health and wellbeing of passengers and crew, making it the safest environment in the travel and hospitality sectors and our framework was even recognised by the UN. Throughout the process we have worked incredibly closely with our members and the wider cruise sector and we are delighted our hard work paid off.

Securing vaccines for seafarers

Protecting seafarers has been a constant theme of the last 18 months and in the summer we wrote to the Health Secretary and Transport Secretary asking them to do what they can to ensure seafarers of all nationalities are vaccinated when in the UK. In response to pressure from the UK Chamber, the NHS issued vaccination guidance targeted at local health authorities specifically on seafarer vaccination and as such local ports and health services are readily vaccinating seafarers of all nationalities. We continue to push the government for excess supplies of vaccinations to be allotted to maritime specific vaccination hubs as well as clarity on the interoperability of vaccination certificates on a global level.

LISW and the launch of Thames Freeport with Rishi Sunak

London International Shipping Week was incredibly successful for the Chamber and we hosted one of the events of the week when we organised for both the Chancellor and the Transport Secretary to attend the official launch of Thames Freeport at a stellar launch event at the Savoy Hotel. As part of the week the Chamber announced in a landmark decision, that the UK shipping industry has agreed that the international shipping sector must pursue a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

Demanding net zero by 2050

International regulations require the global shipping industry to cut their emissions by 50% compared to 2008 levels. But the Chamber has now confirmed it wants the International Maritime Organisation to double this target and commit to net-zero emissions by 2050.

At the Chamber we want to be at the forefront of the green agenda and now is the time to call for radical action. The aim of cutting shipping’s emissions by 50% just doesn’t go far enough. We need to show the world we mean business and it is imperative that the IMO commits to a net-zero carbon emissions target by 2050.

We support the UK Government’s position of net-zero by 2050. To meet this target, the Chamber believes there needs to be a significant economic incentives to drive the change to net-zero fuels and technologies through a market-based measure that places a price on greenhouse gas emissions and that a global MBM should be put in place by IMO as a matter of urgency. We will continue to push the IMO over the coming months on the issue of MBMs.

Looking ahead:

We are delighted to welcome our new Chief Executive Sarah Treseder to the Chamber who started at the beginning of October and is looking forward to meeting our members over the coming months.

Sarah, who was Chief Executive of the Royal Yachting Association, brings a wealth of experience to the role. She led the RYA for more than 10 years and is also a Younger Brother at Trinity House.

The policy team continues to work closely with the Department for Transport and wider government on their plans for COP26 in November. We also have the next environment meeting at the IMO at the end of November and the Chamber will continue to push the IMO and governments around the world on more stretching climate change targets.


A huge amount of work from everyone at the Chamber went into London International Shipping Week. We hosted a wonderful event on the Monday evening at the IMO for the launch of our TV Programme Making Waves: The future of Shipping. We had more than 200 attend the launch event and I was delighted so many of our members participated in the film and the event.

We also hosted a fascinating debate on the future of global trade with the ICS Secretary General Guy Platten and Andrew Mitchell, Director General at the Department for International Trade. And on the Thursday, there was an incredibly well attended Voyage to Decarbonisation event at the Chamber. We were delighted to have the Shipping Minister Robert Courts provide the keynote speech on such an important subject.

Everyone at the Chamber of Shipping is aware of the critical importance of not just safety, but of a safety culture, of doing the right things, in the correct way even when no one is watching. At the end of September, we hosted our two-day Safety Culture Conference. We were joined by a range of high-profile speakers, including Dr Grahaeme Henderson OBE who made the case for why investing in safety and safety culture makes good business sense.

The Chamber will continue to host a range of events in the future. Should you or your organisation be interested in supporting these please get in touch with Tony Jerome.