The thirteen P&I Clubs which comprise the International Group (the “Group”) between them provide marine liability cover (protection and indemnity) for approximately 90% of the world’s ocean-going tonnage.

Through the unique Group structure, the member Clubs, whilst individually competitive, share between them their large loss exposures, and also share their respective knowledge and expertise on matters relating to shipowners liabilities and the insurance and reinsurance of such liabilities.

Each Group Club is an independent, not-for-profit mutual insurance association, providing cover for its shipowner and charterer members against third party liabilities arising out of the use and operation of ships. Each Club is owned by its shipowner and charterer members, and its operations and activities are overseen by a board of directors, or committee, elected from the membership. The day-to-day operations of the Clubs are handled by professional managers, either “in-house” or external, who are appointed by and report to their Club board/committee.

The Clubs cover a wide range of liabilities, including loss of life and personal injury to crew, passengers and others on board, cargo loss and damage, pollution by oil and other hazardous substances, wreck removal, collision and damage to property. The Clubs also provide a wide range of services to their members including claims handling, advice on legal issues and loss prevention, and they regularly play a leading role in coordinating the response to, and management of, maritime casualties.

Source: ukpandi


A key element of the MARPOL regulations is the requirement to record discharges of shipboard substances and materials which could cause pollution to the environment. Traditionally, these record books have been maintained in paper form.

On 17 May 2019, IMO’s MEPC 74 adopted the resolutions below to allow for ERBs to be used. Guidelines to support the use of ERBs were also adopted by the Committee. These amendments, which will reduce the heavy burden associated with paperwork and which are thus to be welcomed, will enter into force on 1 October 2020;

Resolution MEPC.314(74) – Amendments to MARPOL Annexes I, II and V (Electronic Record Books)
Resolution MEPC.316(74)– Amendments to MARPOL Annex VI (Electronic Record Books and EEDI regulations for ice-strengthened ships)
Resolution MEPC.317(74) – Amendments to the NOx Technical Code 2008 (Electronic Record Books and Certification requirements for SCR systems)
Resolution MEPC.312(74) – Guidelines for the use of Electronic Record Books under MARPOL

The Guidelines are only applicable to the use of ERBs on board to meet the requirements of the following record books and recording requirements under MARPOL Annexes I, II, V & VI and the Technical Code on Control of Emission of Nitrogen Oxides from Marine Diesel Engines (NOX Technical Code):

  • Oil Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex I, regulations 17.1 and 36.1);
  • Cargo Record Book (MARPOL Annex II, regulation 15.1);
  • Garbage Record Book, parts I and II (MARPOL Annex V, regulation 10.3);
  • Ozone-depleting Substances Record Book (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 12.6);
  • Recording of the tier and on/off status of marine diesel engines (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 13.5.3);
  • Record of Fuel Oil Changeover (MARPOL Annex VI, regulation 14.6); and
  • Record Book of Engine Parameters (NOX Technical Code, paragraph

An ERB is defined in the Guidance as a device or a system used to electronically record entries. When an ERB is to be used as an alternative to an official hard copy record book onboard a ship, the State’s Administration is required to assess the device or system and to issue a “Declaration of Marpol Electronic Record Book”. A copy of this declaration must be kept onboard the ship. The procedures related to the use of ERBs must be documented in the ship’s Safety Management System (SMS).

To comply with MARPOL requirements, an ERB should have the capability to retain all records made for the minimum period as specified in each Annex of MARPOL. The ERB should also have the capability to produce a hard copy of verified records for the master to certify as a true copy, upon request from relevant authorities, and to allow automatic backup of data in its system to offline storage.

Source: ukpandi


Maritime insurer, North P&I Club, has lent its support to a number of charities, drawing attention to the welfare of seafarers during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shipping is a vital part of the international supply chain which keeps supermarket shelves stocked, and many crews remain at sea, unable to see their loved ones until restrictions are eased.

North P&I Club has ring-fenced £40,000 of its North 150 Fund for maritime charities to support crews through this difficult period.

One of the charities North is supporting is the Sailor’s Society, which offers helplines to seafarers experiencing loneliness, especially at a time when their next visit home could be some time away.

North is also providing mental health resources for seafarers and their families alongside the grants, which will help maintain supply chains at sea.

Paul Jennings, chief executive of North, said: “The impact of this pandemic is huge, and the welfare of seafarers at this time is an issue close to our hearts.

“As a 160-year-old business with our roots here in the North East, we’re passionate about the shipping legacy of our region, and determined to support those working in the maritime industry in challenging times.

“Our seafarers play a pivotal role in ensuring our supply chain keeps going. They are among the unsung heroes of this crisis.

“Without them, we wouldn’t have access to everyday essentials such as food and medicine. That’s why we’re doing what we can to show them our support.”

In addition to funding maritime organisations, North has also been supporting a number of local charitable initiatives like the Greggs Foundation, Newcastle United Foundation, Clothe & Feed and Ouseburn Farm.

Paul added: “From food parcels for families in need and help for the elderly and vulnerable, to emergency hospice funding and counselling for NHS frontline workers, we’re proud to be supporting the work of these vital charities in and around Tyneside.”



During April, there were zero new detentions of foreign flagged vessels in a UK port.

1. In response to one of the recommendations of Lord Donaldson’s inquiry into the prevention of pollution from merchant shipping, and in compliance with the EU Directive on Port State Control (2009/16/EC as amended), the Maritime and Coastguard agency (MCA) publishes details of the foreign flagged vessels detained in UK ports each month.

2. The UK is part of a regional agreement on port state control known as the Paris Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Paris MOU) and information on all ships that are inspected is held centrally in an electronic database known as THETIS. This allows the ships with a high risk rating and poor detention records to be targeted for future inspection.

3. Inspections of foreign flagged ships in UK ports are undertaken by surveyors from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. When a ship is found to be not in compliance with applicable convention requirements, a deficiency may be raised. If any of their deficiencies are so serious, they have to be rectified before departure, then the ship will be detained.

4. All deficiencies should be rectified before departure.

5. When applicable, the list includes those passenger craft prevented from operating under the provisions of the EU Directive on a system of inspections for the safe operation of Ro-Ro passenger ships and high-speed passenger craft in regular service and amending directive 2009/16/EC and repealing Council Directive 1999/35/EC (Directive EU 2017/2110).

Notes on the list of detentions:

• Full details of the ship: The accompanying detention list shows ship’s International Maritime Organization (IMO) number which is unchanging throughout the ship’s life and uniquely identifies it. It also shows the ship’s name and flag state at the time of its inspection.
• Company: The company shown in the vessel’s Safety Management Certificate (SMC) or if there is no SMC, then the party otherwise believed to be responsible for the safety of the ship at the time of inspection.
• Classification society: The list shows the classification society responsible for classing the ship only.
• Recognised organisation: Responsible for conducting the statutory surveys: and issuing statutory certificates on behalf of the flag state.
• White (WL), grey (GL) and black lists (BL) are issued by the Paris MoU on 01 July each year and shows the performance of flag state.
• Deficiencies: The deficiencies listed are the ones which were detainable. Further details of other deficiencies can be provided on request.

Vessel Name: LIVA GRETA
GT: 851

IMO: 8801072

Flag: Lativa (white list)

Company: Liepajas Trading & Shipping Agency Ltd

Classification society: RINA

Recognised organisation: RINA

Recognised organisation for ISM Doc: RMRS

Recognised organisation for ISM SMC: RMRS

Date and place of detention: 11th January 2020 at Birkenhead

Summary: Nine deficiencies with two grounds for detention

This vessel was still detained on 30th April 2020

Vessel Name: KUZMA MININ
GT: 16257

IMO: 7721263

Flag: Russian Federation (Grey list)

Company: Murmansk Shipping Co

Classification society: RMRS

Recognised organisation: RMRS

Recognised organisation for ISM Doc: RMRS

Recognised organisation for ISM SMC: RMRS

Date and place of detention: 18th December 2018 at Falmouth

Summary: Thirteen deficiencies with six grounds for detention

This vessel was still detained on 30th April 2020

Vessel Name: POSEIDON
GT: 1412

IMO: 7363217

Flag: Iceland (White list)

Company: Neptune EHF

Classification society: NA

Recognised organisation: NA

Recognised organisation for ISM Doc: DNV-GL

Recognised organisation for ISM SMC: DNV-GL

Date and place of detention: 19th July 2018 at Hull

Summary: Ten deficiencies with two grounds for detention

This vessel was still detained on 30th April 2020

GT: 1814

IMO No: 8883290

Flag: Russian Federation (Grey list)

Company: Tecoil Shipping Ltd

Classification society: RMRS

Recognised organisation: RMRS

Recognised organisation for ISM DOC: RMRS

Recognised organisation for ISM SMC: RMRS

Date and place of detention: 6th June 2018 at Immingham

Summary: Twenty-seven deficiencies with eight grounds for detentions

This vessel was still detained on 30th April 2020

Vessel Name: CIEN PORCIENTO (General Cargo)
GT: 106.

IMO No: 8944446.

Flag: Unregistered.

Company: Open Window Inc.

Classification society: Unclassed.

Recognised organisation: Not applicable.

Recognised organisation for ISM DOC: Not applicable.

Recognised organisation for ISM SMC: Not applicable

Date and place of detention: 4 March 2010, Lowestoft

Summary: Thirty deficiencies including seven grounds for detention

This vessel was still detained on 30th April 2020
Source: UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency



This Circular is an update on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) sanctions enforcement Circular published in January 2019. This serves as an update following the recently published 2019/2020 UN Panel of Experts of North Korea Sanctions Report (see Report).


The report notes that the DPRK regime has not taken steps to end its nuclear programme, which continues in violation of UN Security Council resolutions. Stringent sanctions measures have therefore remained in force. According to the Panel of Experts, the DPRK regime has continued to raise revenue for its ballistic missile programme through the illicit import of refined petroleum and export of commodities such as sand and coal. Maritime activities have been identified as facilitating this revenue stream for DPRK.

The message from the UN and national enforcement agencies is clear. Shipowners are strongly advised to take note that sanctions monitoring, and surveillance continues at a pace and through the co-operation of UN Member States more evidence is being collated and reported where there has been such a breach.

Evidence of use of non-DPRK vessels

The report notes a continuing use of non-DPRK flagged vessels that are used to perform illicit ship-to- ship (STS) cargo transfers at sea. The report further notes that DPRK has changed its trading methods to evade detection using STS transfers between non-DPRK flagged vessels in international waters and subsequent delivery of unlawful cargo direct to Nampo. Such vessels have conducted operations several times over before they are detected. These operations have amounted to the DPRK receiving almost three times the UN specified total cap of 500,000 barrels of refined petroleum (paragraph 5 of resolution 2397 (2017)). With the assistance of a UN Member State, 14 vessels were designated, though none are entered with an International Group Club. To conceal the true identification of the ownership and financial interests behind the vessels carrying out these activities, it was reported that most of the vessels’ registered owners were dissolved or struck off company registers or were operating under false or fraudulent flags.

The Panel noted the need for regulators, enforcement agencies and the maritime industry to remain vigilant and maintain proper and effective due diligence. Tanker operators in particular should make every effort to identify and confirm the true intended destination of cargoes carried on board. STS transfers frequently take place at night with the automatic identification systems (AIS) being disabled and subsequent transfers of cargo are made to smaller vessels without IMO numbers.

The report notes that the DPRK is continuously innovating and adapting to avoid detection of its activities and a further trend reported by the Panel was the exploitation of the scrap vessel market where onward sale of vessels of larger bulk carriers (destined for scrap) were being used to transfer coal, as opposed to the previous use of smaller vessels.

Exercise Caution when fixing contracts

On 3 May, 2019, the United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) published a “Framework for OFAC Compliance Commitments” (the “Compliance Framework”), which sets out OFAC’s views of the essential elements of an effective sanctions compliance programme.

All clubs in the International Group issued a Circular at the time drawing attention to its publication emphasising the importance for any shipowner, charterer or trader to adopt measures that mitigate the risk of breaking sanctions.

In the light of the most recent UN report, the Club once again advises all members to continue to apply the highest level of due diligence to mitigate the risk of performing activities with a DPRK nexus. The penalties for doing so could result in designation, asset freezing and listing by the UN, OFAC and other enforcement agencies.

Any trade with a DPRK nexus will be subject to surveillance and scrutiny by monitoring agencies, including vessel movements, using AIS and long-range identification tracking, satellite imagery and other assets. Vessels that are suspected of breaching sanctions against DPRK may be listed by national authorities and/or subject to search and detained at ports whilst investigations are carried out.

Ramifications on Club cover

Any activity assessed to be in breach of sanctions will result in the withdrawal of insurance cover. Even if it were possible to undertake legitimate trade with DPRK and/or DPRK interests, members should consider that an International Group Club is unlikely to be able to support vessels trading to DPRK, with payment of claims and fees and the provision of security liable to be delayed and perhaps completely prohibited.

All Members are therefore strongly urged to mitigate the risks of undertaking any business with DPRK or which may have a DPRK nexus, including but not limited to STS operations, and exercise the fullest possible due diligence to ensure that they do not knowingly or inadvertently perform prohibited activities with DPRK entities.

All International Group Clubs have issued a similarly worded Circular.
Source: Steamship Mutual Underwriting Association Limited



2020 Financial Statements – Britannia Declares Another Strong Set of Results


  • Satisfactory year with an underwriting surplus of USD29.3m
  • Strong investment return (7%) yielding USD61.9m
  • Increase in total capital resources net of USD25m capital distribution
  • Steady tonnage growth during the year and a strong 2020/21 renewal
  • The Association is well placed to meet the financial and operational challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic

Financial overview

After a third consecutive renewal with a zero general increase, total calls and premiums for 2019/20 were down marginally on the prior year.  However, lower claims incurred in the financial year resulted in a satisfactory underwriting surplus of USD29.3m and a net loss ratio of 79.9% (2018/19 – 83.8%).  The well diversified investment portfolio produced a strong return of 7% overall, with equities being the strongest performer at 16.5%.  All asset classes produced a positive result and the overall investment gain was USD61.9m, nearly twice the long-term target.

Capital resources grew by USD31.4m, after taking account of the USD25m capital distribution made to mutual Members in the year and remain above the economic capital target set by the Board.

In the period immediately after the year end, investment markets were impacted by the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and much of the investment gain made during the year was reversed.  However, the Association’s strong financial position leaves it well placed to face the challenges posed by the uncertain global economic conditions likely to be experienced in the months and years ahead.


The aggregate value of retention claims incurred during the 2019/20 policy year was in line with expectations and was USD20m lower than the previous year at the equivalent stage. The number of notified claims was 4% lower than in the previous year. Whilst claims within the International Group Pool were higher than recent policy years reserves held against Britannia’s share of those claims have been set at a level sufficient to absorb any further deterioration.

Chairman’s statement

Commenting on the results for the year ended 20 February 2020 and the outlook for the current year, the Association’s Chairman, Anthony Firmin, stated:

“Britannia continues its mission to be the finest provider of P&I and FD&D insurance and for 2019/20 has achieved another strong set of results. The Association’s robust operating model and financial strength also allows it to support our Members through further investment in service, including IT and our regional hubs.  We recognise that since 20 February 2020, COVID-19 has had a material impact on the world economy and the maritime sector.  Despite the majority of our staff worldwide currently having to work from home, we are maintaining ‘business as usual’ standards of service and we do not anticipate that the effect of COVID-19 will have a material impact on Britannia’s own claims for the 2020/21 policy year.

Britannia’s Review of the Year – 20 February 2020 is available on the Association’s website.

Jo Rodgers, CFO, Tindall Riley (Britannia) Ltd:            +44 (0)7921 233714
Andrew Cutler, CEO, Tindall Riley (Britannia) Ltd:         +44 (0)7738 997329

20 Feb 2020 20 Feb 2019 20 Feb 2018
(gt million) (gt million) (gt million)
Entered tonnage (owned) 117.5 112.0 107.0
Entered tonnage (chartered) 45.0 19.0 20.0
USD(000) USD(000) USD(000)
Calls and premiums 201,185 204,415 208,147
Net claims incurred (111,667) (119,600) (93,552)
Investment income 61,868 (2,643) 48,626
Net operating expenses (31,891) (28,649) (25,666)
Net income after taxation 56,427 (9,297) 80,615
Free reserves* 422,088 390,660 429,957
Net loss ratio 79.9% 83.8% 61.4%
Average expense ratio 11.5% 10.9% 9.7%
Standard & Poor’s rating A (stable) A (stable) A (stable)

*The Association benefits from a reinsurance contract with Boudicca Insurance Company Limited.


In line with their legal and regulatory obligations, all clubs in the International Group maintain sophisticated sanctions compliance programs and procedures. The rules and procedures developed by clubs to manage sanctions risks take account of the guidance provided by bodies such as the UN Security Council (UNSC), the UK Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI), the US State Department and the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).  Through their systems of circulars and news alerts, clubs also seek to keep their members up to date on recent developments with respect to sanctions.
The ability to track vessels using their AIS (Automatic Identification System) signals has become an increasingly important part of clubs’ sanctions compliance programs.  All International Group clubs have now agreed a common minimum standard of tracking.
Review of vessel tracking software
In order to ensure that clubs were fully aware of capabilities of the products available in this fast-developing area, a working group carried out in-depth discussions with service providers to better understand the technology available to monitor vessel movements in high risk areas.  These products were subsequently trialed against the software currently utilized by clubs.  All Group clubs have now entered into agreements with commercial providers to track the movements of their entered vessels.
Introduction of a common standard for vessel tracking
All clubs share the common goals of ensuring their members are aware of the sanctions framework in which they operate and that their members’ vessels are not traded in violation of applicable sanctions.  The agreed common minimum standard of vessel tracking in high risk areas helps to identify activities such as port calls in sanctioned countries, abnormal navigation, manipulation and/or switching off a vessel’s AIS transmitter, and STS operations in high risk areas.
P&I clubs can use the information received from the tracking provider to reach out to members to ensure that they are fully aware of the sanctions which may impact on their trading patterns and the due diligence steps that can be taken to ensure no sanctions are violated.  The information can also be used to mitigate the risk of the club inadvertently providing cover to a vessel which is violating sanctions.
Limitations of AIS tracking
As highlighted in Club Circular No. 03/19 of January 11, 2019, an indicator of potential evasion activity is when a vessel inexplicably diverts course or ceases to transmit its AIS signal. However, routine monitoring of a vessel’s AIS transmissions is not a complete answer when it comes to identifying potential evasion activity.   A suggestion that a vessel may be “going dark”, be engaged in “dark activity” or having its AIS “turned off”, simply because no signal is received, can be misleading.  This is because there are several possible reasons why no AIS signal may be received. For example:
  1. The issue may not be on the vessel but with the receipt of the AIS signal, particularly in areas of high-density traffic. This is a common problem.
  2.  Different commercial providers use different AIS receivers and so just because one provider shows no AIS signal being received, another service may evidence an AIS signal being successfully transmitted.
  3. As has been highlighted in US shipping advisories, vessel spoofing may take place by other ships transmitting a false AIS and using the IMO number (the unique vessel identification code) of a different vessel.  An inevitable consequence of such spoofing is that innocent vessel owners can be surprised to learn that their vessel is falsely reported as being potentially thousands of miles from its actual location and be accused of sanctions evasion.
  4. The Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) provides that ships fitted with AIS shall maintain AIS in operation at all times except where international agreements, rules or standards provide for the protection of navigational information; a failure to operate a vessel’s AIS equipment in accordance with the requirements of SOLAS breaches flag state requirements. However, SOLAS permits an AIS transmitter to be turned off for safety and security reasons and therefore where the transmitter has been turned off, there may be a justifiable reason for this.
  5. Where a ship is not in compliance with flag state requirements the owner risks prejudicing cover under P&I club rules. There will also be grounds to deny P&I cover on the basis of imprudent or unlawful trading where an owner trades his vessel in breach of sanctions, disguising its location by manipulating or withholding the transmission of AIS data.
Notwithstanding these limitations, the routine monitoring of AIS transmission has an important role to play as part of the Club’s continuing efforts to comply with applicable sanctions legislation and deprive cover to vessels engaged in sanctions breaking.  However, monitoring of AIS signals alone cannot ensure effective sanctions compliance. It is only one piece of the full picture.  Other non-AIS data systems can also assist in effective vessel monitoring programs together with ship security alert systems and data provided by flag states.  Analysis of the raw data by experts is also essential.  Satellite imagery is an increasingly useful additional tool.
All International Group clubs are committed to monitoring vessels in high risk areas and minimizing risk for their members and have issued a similarly worded circular.
Yours faithfully,
Joseph E.M. Hughes, Chairman & CEO
Shipowners Claims Bureau, Inc., Managers for
All Clubs in the International Group of P&I Clubs have issued similar Circulars


The UK P&I Club (“The UK Club”), a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community, announces its financial results for the year ended 20 February 2020.

The Club’s financial position remains strong as free reserves increased by $54 million to $559 million as at 20 February 2020. This was driven by exceptional investment returns of 9.6% for the year. The Club continues to meet all its regulatory capital requirements and Standard & Poor’s reaffirmed the Club’s A (Stable) rating in December 2019.

The Club benefited from reasonably good large claims experience for the year, however premium rates have been insufficient to cover the cost of claims and expenses. Members have benefited from significantly reduced rates across the P&I sector over recent years, leading to the Club’s combined ratio of 120% for the year, which continues to be above the Club’s acceptable range. Although the cost of large claims is high, there remains the need for future action on premium rates.

The underwriting result for the year demonstrates the importance of scale and strong capital. The Club remains financially strong with Free Reserves increasing $54 million to $559 million and an A (Stable) rating from S&P.
Source: UK P&I Club


The International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) has welcomed Bond TM as the primary partner for its new online toolkit for superyacht crew.

A survey conducted by ISWAN in 2018 found that 82% of superyacht crew experienced low crew morale sometimes, often or always, and 55% of female respondents found accessing mental health care to be an occasional or regular challenge. In order to be more visible to superyacht crew in need, ISWAN has been fundraising for Yacht Crew Help – a new online toolkit to provide crew with a direct line to free, 24-hour emotional support, guidance, and useful health and welfare resources.

Alongside gallant fundraising efforts from Colin Squire of Yachting Matters and Captain Brendan O’Shannassy, President of the ISS Captain’s Committee, Bond TM have contributed a generous €10,000 to help make the new platform a reality.

Will Faimatea, Director and Founder of Bond TM, said: ‘Having previously been crew for many years I recognise the topic of mental health is an issue like it is everywhere but obtaining support and assistance whilst you are crew can be difficult. Crew wellbeing is an area that can easily be overlooked.

‘After reading an article by Colin Squire about the drive to raise funds for Yacht Crew Help I spoke to Brendan O’Shannassy and Caitlin Vaughan whilst they were on the path of this project and they explained what they were trying to achieve. As well as the helpline this project increases awareness in the industry that the mental health and wellbeing of crew is just as important as it is in other walks of life and everyone should learn to recognise any warning signs for themselves and in others and do what they can to assist.

‘With Yacht Crew Help crew will not have to search too far to obtain help if they think they may need it and the fact that they know help is close by may offer support and comfort. Contributing back to the yacht industry that I am proud to be part of is in itself rewarding but what makes this even more worthwhile is being able to contribute to ISWAN to start Yacht Crew Help for those who may need it.’

Captain Brendan O’Shannassy said, as an experienced Captain, he recognises the greatest challenge at sea is creating a safe environment where crew’s mental health and wellness are core values: ‘The awareness of this priority across the maritime industry is not where it should be, and neither are the support and educational tools. The ISWAN initiative is a huge step in the right direction to improve crew wellness, resilience, mental health and in turn performance.’

ISWAN’s Project Manager Caitlin Vaughan said: ‘We have been so fortunate to be supported by wonderful people and organisations within the superyacht industry who recognise the need for accessible mental health support for crew. We’re delighted to be partnering with Bond TM whose industry expertise will be invaluable to the development of the toolkit.’

Further generous pledges are expected to be announced in the coming weeks, including the final amount raised by a fundraising effort from Burgess. ISWAN would also like to thank MHG Insurance Brokers and wilsonhalligan who provided the initial support needed for ISWAN’s 2018 research and widely acknowledged report on The Welfare of Superyacht Crew.

Fundraising continues to support the operation of ISWAN’s helpline for seafarers and efforts to address the recommendations in ISWAN’s superyacht crew welfare research report. Companies, organisations and individuals wishing to show their support can do so at

Yacht Crew Help would not have been possible without the support of Bond TM and ISWAN looks forward to working in partnership on this new platform to support superyacht crew worldwide.



Source: British Ports Association, 2020-05-20

The British Ports Association (BPA) has today published an economic recovery plan for government that highlights how investment in ports can play a part in the UK’s healing from the deepest economic shock in living memory. Included in the proposals are a Green Maritime Fund to drive sustainable development and help stimulate growth consistent with Net Zero aims. A key message is to energise our ports by igniting their potential to fire up the economy.

The document outlines a framework for recovery, providing government with ideas on how to unlock the untapped potential of UK ports to drive growth; supporting a recovery process that brings all of the regions of the UK along with it – to create a stronger Britain than ever before. It focuses on three key areas to kick start economic activity:

  • Continued medium-term cash flow and business support
  • A massive scaling up of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions including a Green Maritime Fund for sustainable development
  • A bold and broad-based inclusive Freeports and fast track planing policy

Divided into short, medium and long-term initiatives, the plan outlines how government can utilise ports and the wider maritime industry, not only to administer first aid to the economy in its first steps towards recovery but to prevent economic aftershocks and stimulate growth for years to come. This plan is for 2020 and beyond.

Commenting, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive at the British Ports Association said “The Covid-19 crisis has been unprecedented in both the speed at which it has hit and the depth. Many ports have seen significant drops in volumes in activity which were impossible to predict and the impact is likely to be felt over the medium-term as the health crisis eases but the economic impact bites.

Ports are key national and regional hubs for economic activity and jobs. However collected by the BPA shows that just 36% of our ports feel confident about their business outlook over the next 12 months so we need Government to fan the flames of their potential to spark wider economic benefits. Help ports and you help the country.

The BPA is, therefore, proposing the following three packages; Continued medium-term cash flow and business support; a massive scaling up of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions; and a bold and broad-based Freeports policy and port zoning strategy. We are promoting a Green Maritime Fund to provide a pro Net Zero development and growth agenda.

These packages offer a path to prosperity in the long-term while promoting sustainable growth and helping ports to realise their potential in what is likely to be the most challenging economic climate for a generation. Ports have the ambition to lead the country to a new future.

A key message is that we want energise our ports by igniting their potential to fire up the economy. Let’s make it happen.”

1. Continued medium-term cash flow and business support

According to data collected by the BPA, 86% of ports have seen either substantial or severe impacts on shipping and customer activities. However, ports are not only seeing a vast impact on their commercial activity but facing requests for assistance to help keep port users afloat too. Furthermore, 32% of ports are now concerned about borrowings and banking covenants. The government must, therefore, support investment and cash flow in the short-term.

Measures outlined within the plan including a government factoring service. This would allow ports and other businesses to raise funds in the short term. The BPA also highlights how a deferral of business rates backed by central Government would also free up capital to help cash flow.

Looking ahead, the BPA is asking government to support skills development to ensure retaining and developing people is not a cost burden.

2. A massive scaling up of the UK’s infrastructure ambitions

Without a doubt, investment in infrastructure will play a fundamental role in securing the UK’s future prosperity. Infrastructure investments are entirely cost-effective; when money is channelled into infrastructure, returns to the economy are multiplied. Measures outlined within the plan include a UK Infrastructure Bank and a Green Maritime Fund.

The BPA welcomes government’s sustainability objectives but stresses that significant investment will be required to achieve these targets. The BPA is, therefore, proposing government adopts a Green Maritime Fund, to unlock capital, aid the growth of the sector while also taking steps towards the Government’s most critical long-term policy aims. The BPA will also shortly be publishing a paper that explores how to overcome the barriers to ship-to-shore power.

3. A bold and broad-based inclusive Freeports policy

The UK government is in the process of developing a UK-wide strategy on Freeports, and the BPA will be outlining our views further within our response to the consultation. However, we have identified several imperative conditions of the UK Freeport model to unlock the untapped potential of the UK’s coastal communities – leaving no region behind through this process – by drawing investment into manufacturing and logistics

We urge the government not to limit its ambition to the previously suggested 10 site proposals as there is a real danger of the leaving some regions behind by limiting the scope. We also ask that government reclassifies ‘port zones’ with improved planning, fiscal and regulatory status.