Stand up for Shipping: UK Chamber of Shipping launches its 2019 election manifesto

Shipping flags

The UK’s shipping association has today (Tuesday 19 November) launched its four-point plan for the 2019 General Election. In its ‘Stand up for Shipping’ manifesto, the Chamber calls for more investment to make the UK a world leader in green maritime technology and tax credits for companies who invest in research and development to help cement the UK as a world leading shipping nation.

The four-point plan asks each political party to:

  • Ensure the UK continues to be a world leading place to do business
  • Support the decarbonisation of the shipping industry
  • Help companies provide training schemes for those seeking a career at sea
  • Work with global partners to ensure frictionless trade

Announcing the manifesto, UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive, Bob Sanguinetti, said:

“We are at a critical point in our history and as we head towards another General Election we call on all major parties to ensure the UK remains a great place to do business and increase support for green initiatives, training and apprentices.

“Most importantly though we want to see greater investment across the UK in research and development so we can lead the world in developing the technologies of tomorrow, creating a cleaner, greener global shipping industry and ensuring the UK remains a world leading maritime nation.”


The new UK Government must:

Ensure the UK continues to be a world leading place to do business

  • To ensure the future success of not only the UK economy but also our vital shipping industry, which contributes £19bn a year and supports 181,000 jobs across the UK, we must have an attractive and competitive fiscal regime
  • International competitiveness and attractiveness should be increased by improving the existing tax regime for shipping. Tax credits should also be used to encourage greater research and innovation in the UK maritime sector
  • The long-term Maritime 2050 strategy must be implemented, and the Government must continue to work in partnership with the shipping industry
  • Maritime services in the UK offer world leading insurance, legal and technical services to the international shipping industry and these must continue to be championed and further developed
  • UK shipping must be underpinned by a strong national shipping register. The UK Flag must improve its attractiveness and be an international flag of quality accessed through a one stop shop enabling UK registration and investment
  • The new Government must support the development and diversification of the UK offshore fleet into renewables, enabling the UK offshore energy industry to export its expertise into the burgeoning global offshore renewables market.

 Support the decarbonisation of the shipping industry

  • The Clean Maritime Plan outlines the pathways to deliver zero-emission shipping. The next Government must commit to deliver the implementation of the Clean Maritime Plan
  • The Government should continue to work in partnership with the industry to support the development of sustainable global maritime environmental regulations through the International Maritime Organization
  • We need to see increased investment in research and development of sustainable zero-carbon fuels and innovative technologies to help decarbonise the industry, while making the UK a world leader in green shipping
  • The next Government must support the development of port infrastructure to help the supply of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, whilst promoting shoreside power to enable ports to decarbonise 
  • Increased support for coastal shipping around the UK to reduce emissions on our busy roads and away from the centres of population
  • To help the industry move towards a more sustainable future, the Government should support access to green finance that will encourage shipowners to uptake zero-emission solutions

 Help companies provide training schemes for those seeking a career at sea

  • The new Government must provide resources for campaigns to increase awareness of the career opportunities available within the Merchant Navy
  • It must commit to continuing SMarT and SMarT Plus funding to assist companies investing in training the ships’ officers of the future. They must also match the long-term commitments into which companies enter in order to turn recruits into senior officers
  • This funding must be sufficiently flexible to be used to overcome obstacles to training, including constraints on the provision of berths for trainees who require them in order to meet international requirements as to sea-going experience
  • The new Government must act to ensure that apprenticeships are genuinely employer-led, and suitably flexible in order to be attractive to apprentices and whilst recognising the nuanced employment arrangements of the small vessel sectors to ensure apprenticeship viability

 Work with global partners to ensure frictionless trade

  • We call on the next Government to prioritise and lead on developing and introducing a new ‘Maritime Chapter’ in bi-lateral and multilateral trade negotiations to maximise the opportunities for UK’s international shipping services
  • The UK must collaborate and encourage the sharing and exchange of trade data to reduce barriers and expedite trade flows with our most important economic partners
  • The future UK EU trade agreement must recognise the existing high degree of economic integration, safeguarding and promoting short sea shipping services on which this depends


For more information please contact Alastair Clifton:

07912 975020

Notes to editors

About UK Chamber of Shipping

The UK Chamber of Shipping is the trade association and voice of the UK shipping industry, representing nearly 200 members. We work with Government, parliament, international organisations and others to champion and protect the industry on behalf of our members.