UK Chamber and MCA join forces to promote the UK as a global maritime centre


The UK Chamber of Shipping and the Government’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) will today co-host a seminar for potential international investors, showcasing the UK’s quality flag and competitive tax regime as key factors why the UK is the best base for shipping business.

The event forms part of London International Shipping Week, taking place days after Stena move two large LNG ships to the UK register, with Kim Ullman, CEO of Stena LNG, describing the UK as “a stable and good haven for our ships”.

  • Shipowners and ambassadors from countries across the world will attend today’s event at the UK Chamber of Shipping’s offices in London
  • UK Chamber Director-General Mark Brownrigg OBE, and MCA Chief Executive Sir Alan Massey will host the joint event alongside high-level tax and flag officials from HMRC and the MCA, and a founding partner of leading legal firm, Watson, Farley and Williams
  • One of almost 70 events taking part during London International Shipping Week, an industry venture, with strong Government support, promoting all that London and the UK have to offer global shipping. 

The UK Ship Register is recognised as one of the world's best performing flag state administrations, with excellent safety records. Regarding the decision behind the move of their two LNG ships, Dan Sten Olsson, CEO of the Stena Group, said: 

“A strong advantage for the UK register is the professionalism and focus on safety, built on long-term experience from the authorities. They also have the requisite understanding of today’s commercial realities and the growing competition to attract global shipping companies.”

Debasis Mazumdar, Head of the UK Register at the MCA, added: 

“We welcome and support ship owners to register vessels under the UK Ship Register and have experts who can help explain the benefits of our tonnage tax schemes and guide them through the process.

“We have top shipping companies from all over the world under this scheme operating from the UK. London continues to be the strongest shipping hub in the world.”

Today’s event will outline the benefits of the UK’s tax regime to potential investors. The low tax charge is not only competitive in the global market, but a ten year opt-in period guarantees an unrivalled stability. A unique training commitment under the regime protects and nurtures a skilled UK workforce.

Mark Brownrigg, Director-General at the UK Chamber of Shipping, said:

“Today’s event is another example of industry and Government working together to promote and protect the UK’s shipping industry, part of a wider maritime services sector worth in total £32bn to UK GDP and providing 540,000 UK jobs.

“The decision by Stena to move two large ships to the UK register is timely evidence – coming during the inaugural London International Shipping Week – that with its stable tax regime, quality flag and host of maritime services, the UK is the natural home for shipping business.”


For further information please contact Gemma Wilkie, PR Manager at the UK Chamber of Shipping on 020 7417 2834 or 

Notes to Editors

About the UK Register

At the end of May 2013 the Register stood at 1,393 ships with a gross tonnage of 16.89m – the 11th largest in the world. This is a figure that has grown more than six-fold since the introduction of the tonnage tax in 2000, a favourable regime whereby shipowners are taxed on the carrying capacity of their ships.

About Tonnage Tax

The tonnage tax is a tax regime for shipping companies which allows the UK to operate competitively within an international market. Such regimes have been widely adopted across the globe and have express approval by the EU authorities. Shipping companies that join the UK tonnage tax regime also commit to sponsor and train one new officer trainee annually for every 15 officers they employ. There is currently no formal commitment to train ratings.

According to the most recent figures, the increase in shipping business in the UK as a result of the Tonnage Tax is directly responsible for the creation of 38,000 jobs in the past 13 years, and an additional £4.4bn contribution to GDP. 

About the UK Chamber

The UK Chamber of Shipping is the trade association for the UK shipping industry, working to promote and protect the interests of its members both nationally and internationally. With around 140 members from across the maritime sector, the UK Chamber represents over 925 ships of about 30 million gross tons and is recognised as the voice of the UK shipping industry. 

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency implements the government's maritime safety policy in the UK and works to prevent the loss of life on the coast and at sea. Their 24/7 customer service is delivered to over 300 satisfied customers worldwide. Their Ensign group are the global authority offering unrivalled services to the large yacht industry including owners, builders and designers.

UK shipping has a turnover of over £11bn. With indirect effects, UK shipping’s contribution to UK GDP is £13bn.
The UK Chamber is a member of Maritime UK, which brings together the major associations representing the UK’s the shipping, ports and maritime business services sectors. 

For more information on UK Shipping, please go to:

For more information on the UK ship register, please visit: