It has been another difficult week with rising Covid cases but the news of a Free Trade Agreement with Australia, signed in a virtual ceremony overnight, shouldn’t be overlooked. The deal is the most comprehensive and positive FTA the UK has achieved since leaving the EU. It is estimated the FTA will unlock £10.4bn worth of additional trade while ending tariffs on all UK exports. The inclusion of an International Maritime Services Chapter is enormously welcome and we expect real benefits for maritime from this and other aspects of the deal. The FTA will come into force next year and should you have any questions about this deal, or any of our other trade negotiations please contact Gavin Simmonds.
Members’ Workshop on Cadet Training
As part of Maritime 2050 the Government announced plans for a Maritime Skills Commission to ensure a pipeline of talent for the maritime sector. Our role is to make sure shipowners’ views are properly represented within the Commission and to help us do that, our Policy Director Tim Springett will be holding a workshop to get the views of members on what skills our future seafarers most need. 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.
The workshop will take place on January 25th 2022 and further details of timings, a draft programme for the workshop and registration instructions will follow shortly. But please do save the date in your diary.
Vehicle Deck Safety
Safety is a top priority for everyone associated with the Chamber and over the last few years we have sadly seen several fatalities on vehicle decks, many of which could have been avoided.
At the beginning of 2020 the UK Chamber published Guidelines to Shipping Companies on Vehicle Deck Safety (VDS) to support companies and created a VDS working group. Out of this collaboration, the group has produced “The 10 Golden Rules of Vehicle Deck Safety” which you can read more about here. The 10 Golden Rules is a toolbox of safe behaviours which people working on vehicle decks should take to work with them from the start of their shift until the end of their shift. If you are interested in learning more about this, or anything else safety related, please do get in touch with our policy lead Mel White.
At the Chamber we are always looking to bring in new and diverse companies and to increase our membership. We are delighted to welcome Acua-Ocean, a clean maritime start-up, as the latest organisation to join the UK Chamber of Shipping. In the last few years Acua-Ocean has developed a range of innovative products and technologies, including a long-range autonomous surface vessel which is powered by liquid hydrogen. Everyone at the Chamber is looking forward to working with them in the months ahead.
Finally, I would like to wish our members, stakeholders and colleagues a peaceful, safe and happy Christmas. It has been another very challenging year for most of us, but the shipping industry continues to play a vital role in the UK, moving 95% of our trade. On behalf of everyone at the UK Chamber, my sincere thanks to all of our members for your continued support, and active participation in leading the industry. I am looking forward to working with you all in 2022.