Weekly Bulletin

We have started the New Year with some positive signs from the government. The Prime Minister announced he is sticking to Plan B and some restrictions are being eased.

Indeed, earlier this week we were pleased to see DfT announce changes in testing rules for travellers arriving in England. With the peak holiday booking period under way, measures that allow for more seamless travel on ferries and cruise ships are vital. We will continue to engage with the team at DfT on international travel ahead of the next review at the end of January but if any members have questions on this please do get in touch with Gavin Simmonds in the policy team.

With the data seemingly going in the right direction, we are looking forward to welcoming many of you to our Annual Dinner at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House in London on February 7th. Today is the last day you can purchase tickets and we currently have over 600 guests registered. If you would like to book a ticket or a table, please contact Donna Stevens by 5pm today.

2022 started with some wonderful news for the Chamber with our President John Denholm being awarded a CBE in the New Years Honours List for services to Maritime and Charities. John is an incredibly deserving recipient of the award having done so much for the shipping and wider maritime community over many years. We were also pleased to see Martin Coles, Chief Executive of Marine Society & Sea Cadets was awarded a CBE for services to young people and Maritime Education and Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association was awarded an OBE for services to the Maritime Sector. Congratulations to everyone who received an award in the Honours List.

For many months now the Chamber has been working on the new Nationality and Borders Bill consulting with stakeholders such as Nautilus UK. After extensive lobbying of the Home Office, the government has confirmed it has tabled an amendment to the Bill expressly exempting seafarers from criminal prosecution who are required by law to rescue people at sea. The original draft of the Bill left open the possibility that the Master of a vessel might be convicted for saving the life of someone in distress at sea who subsequently claimed asylum. However, in a letter to the Chamber and Nautilus International, Home Office Minister Tom Pursglove MP confirmed that the new ‘amendment puts it beyond doubt that organisations and individuals who rescue those in distress will not be convicted for people smuggling offences.’ We are extremely pleased with this outcome after a huge amount of work from Tim Springett in the policy team. Well done to all involved.

Finally this week, some dates for your diary. On January 25th we will be holding a workshop to get the views of members on what skills our future seafarers most need which will then feed into the Maritime Skill Commission. It is vital that the Chamber develops its own proposals for cadet training that will meet the current and future requirements of the industry whilst providing an attractive career option. Further details of timings, a draft programme for the workshop and registration instructions will follow shortly.

On January 26th there will be another session of our popular Understanding UK Shipping course. This will be held online and members and non-members can book here. Our AGM is on March 30th and our Annual Summer Lunch will be in Edinburgh at Mansfield Traquair on Tuesday 14th June. Please save the dates in your diary.