Understanding UK Shipping

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Published Date

October 2017

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Understanding UK Shipping

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'Understanding UK Shipping' provides the reader with a detailed introduction to both the UK maritime environment and UK shipping industry. This book will benefit those entering the industry, those looking to update their knowledge of the regulatory framework, and those simply with an interest in how the shipping industry keeps the UK economy moving.

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'Understanding UK Shipping' gives an oversight of the legal and administrative processes of shipping within the UK, as well as the numerous regulations that govern ships, ports, crew, trading and operations.


It has been written by the UK Chamber of Shipping’s team of experts who, as well as having a deep understanding of the regulations, participated in the formulation of many of them.




Chapter 1 – Introduction

1.1 Purpose of the book

1.2 What do shipping and the maritime sector do?

1.3 What is meant by ‘British shipping’?

1.4 Background to British shipping

1.4.1 Overview

1.4.2 History

1.4.3 Tonnage tax

1.4.4 Competition

1.4.5 Industry bodies

1.5 Overview of chapters

Chapter 2 – International Regulation

2.1 Introduction

2.2 How and why the shipping industry is regulated?

2.3 The global bodies

2.3.1 The International Maritime Organization (IMO)

2.3.2 The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO)

2.3.3 The International Association of Classification Societies (IACS)

2.4 Safety of life and protection of the environment

2.4.1 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS)

2.4.2 International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

2.4.3 International Convention on Load Lines (CLL), 1966

2.4.4 Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs), 1972

2.4.5 International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention)

2.4.6 Cargo safety

2.5 Enforcement and the concept of nationality

2.5.1 Ship registration

2.5.2 The practical consequences of ship registration

2.5.3 Port State Control (PSC)

2.5.4 Classification Societies and certification

2.6 The role of the European Union

2.6.1 The European Commission and Parliament

2.6.2 European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)

Chapter 3 – Regulation of UK Ships

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Flagging

3.2.1 The process of flagging in the UK

3.2.2 Factors influencing shipowners’ choice of flag

3.3 Statutory liability regimes

3.4 Certification in the UK

3.4.1 Attaining Class

3.4.2 Class suspension

3.5 Regulation and marine administration in the UK

3.5.1 UK Government

3.5.2 The Merchant Shipping Act 1995

3.5.3 The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

3.5.4 UK Port State Control

3.5.5 Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)

3.5.6 Marine notices

3.5.7 UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO)

3.5.8 Crown Estate

3.5.9 Marine management organisation

Chapter 4 – Crewing and Employment

4.1 Introduction

4.2 Roles on board, safe manning and the role of the Master

4.3 Crew nationality

4.4 Entry into employment: the STCW regime

4.5 Global standards: Maritime Labour Convention 2006

4.5.1 Background

4.5.2 MLC structure

4.5.3 The articles

4.5.4 The Regulations and Code

4.6 UK employment law for seafarers

4.6.1 Registry of shipping and seamen

4.6.2 Work permits

4.6.3 Unfair dismissal and other statutory employment rights

4.6.4 Discipline, Code of Conduct, strikes and mutiny

4.7 UK income tax and National Insurance Regime for seafarers

4.8 Health and safety at sea

Chapter 5 – Running a Shipping Business in the UK

5.1 Company Law background

5.2 Taxation

5.2.1 Corporation Tax

5.2.2 Tonnage tax

5.2.3 EU State aid framework

5.3 Global business and national law

5.3.1 Visas

5.3.2 Business ethics

5.3.3 Sanctions

5.4 Employment of seafarers

Chapter 6 – The UK Shipping Market

6.1 The open coast policy

6.2 The international context

6.2.1 International shipping markets

6.2.2 Domestic trades (cabotage)

6.3 Work permits for seafarers working in UK trades

6.4 The open port duty

Chapter 7 – Trading and Operating a Ship

7.1 General

7.1.1 The Directive applies to

7.2 Shipboard and company procedures – ISM Code

7.2.1 Statutory requirements for operating a ship

7.2.2 Who it applies to

7.2.3 Objectives

7.2.4 Requirements

7.2.5 Documents and certificates

7.3 Shipboard and port facility security procedures – ISPS Code

7.3.1 Background

7.3.2 International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code)

7.3.3 Key elements of the ISPS Code

7.4 Carriage of goods by sea

7.4.1 The role of the Master

7.4.2 Ship procedures and practices

Chapter 8 – Ports and their Customers

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Harbour regulation

8.2.1 Harbour authorities

8.2.2 Port marine safety code

8.2.3 Harbour and other directions

8.3 Pilotage

8.3.1 Responsibility for pilotage

8.3.2 Pilotage exemption certificates

8.4 Protection against unreasonable charges

8.5 The General Lighthouse Authorities (GLAs)

Chapter 9 – Customs Rules

9.1 Customs controls and maritime trade

9.2 Obligations on shipping companies as carriers of goods

9.2.1 Scope of customs controls on the movement of goods by sea

9.2.2 Ships arriving in the UK from outside the EU

9.2.3 Shipment of goods to a destination outside the EU

9.2.4 Sailings between the UK and other EU countries

9.3 Customs control of ships stores and equipment

Chapter 10 – Passenger Shipping

10.1 Carriage of passengers

10.2 Regulated aspects of passenger carriage

10.2.1 Consumer protection

10.2.2 Disabled access

10.2.3 Licensing and control of onboard activities

10.3 Border controls

10.4 Taxation of onboard sales


Further Reading

Foreword by Guy Platten, CEO UK Chamber of Shipping.

To an island nation such as the United Kingdom, the importance of shipping is easy to see and difficult to overstate. 95% of our visible international trade is moved by sea. We depend on shipping to bring finished goods to our shops, whilst the manufacturers of those goods need ships to take raw materials and components to their factories. Lifeline ferries bring isolated communities to the mainland and back, whilst ships carry millions of British holidaymakers to overseas destinations each year.

The United Kingdom shipping industry does much more than move trade and people from one place to the next by sea. It boasts a fleet of advanced ships that support the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, along with world-leading oceanographic and seismic research vessels, cable-layers and, increasingly, luxury superyachts. Over 85,000 merchant ships trade internationally, each following rules set at global, regional and national levels. These rules and standards cover almost every area of public policy; from environmental protection to safety, taxation to defence, customs to employment. The United Kingdom has been, and remains, a respected voice at the forefront of the development of the rules under which the industry operates.

This book offers an understanding of those rules for UK shipping; how they are made, how to comply with them and how they affect the industry. It has been written by the UK Chamber of Shipping’s team of experts who, as well as having a deep understanding of the regulations, participated in the formulation of many of them. The regulatory framework is continuously evolving and this book considers the regulatory position as it currently stands in spring 2017.The UK Chamber of Shipping is pleased to present this comprehensive introduction to our vital national industry.

The UK Chamber of Shipping is the trade association and voice of the UK shipping industry. We work with Government, parliament, international organisations and others to champion and protect the industry on behalf of our members.

It is our mission to deliver for our members trusted specialist expertise, lobbying and influence at a UK level on maritime issues across national, European and international government and governmental bodies. By combining the strength of our members with this expertise we will advance the competitive strength of the industry ensuring that the UK remains as a leader in the global maritime business.

With a growing membership of 180 member companies throughout the UK, made up of shipowners, professional organisations and service companies, we do not just seek to raise awareness of shipping; we work to create an understanding of it, ensuring that member companies’ commercial objectives are at the heart of the government process.

The UK is a global centre for maritime business and our location here, in a stable and business orientated democracy, provides unique access to a range of international bodies and influencers at a global level.

Title: Understanding UK Shipping
Edition: First
Number of Pages: 360
Product Code: WS1554K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-746-8 (9781856097468), ISBN 10: 1-85609-746-3 (1856097463)
Published Date: October 2017
Binding Format: Hardback
Book Height: 304 mm
Book Width: 216 mm
Book Spine: 15 mm
Weight: 0.90 kg
Author: UK Chamber of Shipping

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