May 23

Weekly Bulletin: Friday 26 May 2023

Welcome to this week's Bulletin.

Earlier this week, the Chamber's Policy Manager Robert Merrylees attended the Tug Technology Conference in Rotterdam, where various topics, such as decarbonisation and digitalisation for the towage industry, were discussed. Find out more about the British Tugowner Association work presented at the conference below, as well as other policy work.

A busy week also for our MNTB team as the MNTB Director, Kathryn Neilson, attended the UK Ports Conference 2023, in London, for a panel discussion on attracting and retaining talent. A write-up of the topics discussed by Kathryn can be found in the fourth item of the bulletin under the What's New section.

Congratulations to Chris Shirling-Rooke MBE on his appointment as the new Maritime UK CEO. We at the Chamber look forward to working with him and are delighted about the news. You can read more about his appointment below. 

What's new

Customs and Borders Discussions with Government

The UK Chamber’s Customs Working Group met with various government officials, following the Government’s consultation on its Border Target Operating Model.

The discussions proved constructive, with a programme of engagement to follow as the government looks to publish the final Border Operating Model and work with industry on various technical and strategic issues.

For more information, please contact Katrina Ross.

Tug Technology Conference

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the British Tugowners Association (BTA) attended the biennial Tug Technology Conference hosted by Riviera Maritime in Rotterdam.

The conference brought together over 400 delegates and leaders from across the global towage industry, examined decarbonisation challenges, autonomy, digitalisation and safety enhancements.

Our Policy Manager Robert Merrylees and Scott Baker, presented the BTA’s work Recovery of Persons in Water (PIW) – A Guide to Good Practice for Small Vessels.

The BTA discussed key findings of the GTGP which reviews the task of recovering people from the water and appraises the equipment typically found in the small vessel sector where ships are below SOLAS convention levels. They also busted a variety of myths and false assumptions.

For more information and feedback on the guidance, please get in touch with Robert Merrylees.

Maritime UK appoints new Chief Executive Officer

Maritime UK, the umbrella organisation for the UK’s maritime sector, has appointed Chris Shirling-Rooke MBE as its new Chief Executive Officer. He will move over from Mersey Maritime to Maritime UK in the early summer and we thank Mersey Maritime for helping to facilitate a seamless transfer.

Commenting on his appointment, Chris Shirling-Rooke said:

“It is an incredible honour for me to take on this new position and to build on the fantastic work already delivered by the Maritime UK team on behalf of its members, stakeholders and the industry as a whole.

"I look forward to working with our members and all colleagues as we deliver our shared priorities and ensure the voice of maritime is heard at the highest levels.”

If you'd like to learn more, please visit the MUK website.

UK Ports Conference 2023

The Director of the Merchant Navy Training Board was delighted to be part of the speaker panel discussing the challenges of recruitment and retention of workers in the Maritime Industry.

Kathryn emphasised the importance of the need to develop transferable skills if we are to give workers the ability to move freely from sector to sector.

She also talked about the urgent need to work more closely with industry across all sectors if we are to develop training that is fit for purpose and meets employers’ future needs.

New Chamber's Website Account Subscriptions

The Chamber is pleased to have received 280 account subscriptions and to see that over 200 members are now making full use of their member dashboard.

New website features include:

  • Quick and easy account registration
  • Member dashboard
  • Enhanced events area
  • Improved user experience
  • Automatic subscription to Chamber newsletter

Please visit our new website and start enjoying the benefits by registering for an account. The registration process take you less than 1 minute to do.

Members and non-members can both register for an account and subscribe to our communications newsletters. Members can access the Members Dashboard, upon their registration and review their committee and panel sign-up preferences.

Clean Maritime Plan Member Decarbonisation Survey

The Chamber is seeking your invaluable input in preparation for the revamp of the Clean Maritime Plan, the UK Government's key strategy to reduce maritime sector emissions.

Today is the last chance for members to take a short survey on the industry's decarbonisation plans and needs. Your thoughts on alternative fuels, technological options, and the government's role will help us capture industry priorities.

Next week, the Chamber will be holding a workshop on Financial Incentive to Decarbonisation on Wednesday 31 May at 2 pm.

For any queries, or more information about the workshop, please contact Elise Nyborg. 

Latest member updates

Chamber members are reminded that they have exclusive access to a range of updates from the Chamber’s policy experts on a wide spectrum of issues. You can access all your resources through your member dashboard.

The latest updates this week include:

If you haven't done so, don't forget to register for an account.

Upcoming Events

Summer Lunch - Booking Closed  

Our summer lunch is set to take place on Tuesday 13 June 2023, in a brand new venue, the Signet Library, in Edinburgh. 

Located in the heart of the Old Town, just off the Royal Mile and next to St Giles’ Cathedral, the Signet Library was described by George IV as “the finest drawing room in Europe” and will allow the Chamber to host in excess of 200 guests in June.

Harbour Towage Panel  

This Panel will take place at 10:30 on Wednesday 14 June 2023, at Seawork 2023, the leading European commercial marine exhibition in Southampton running 13-15 June.

All members with an interest in harbour towage and related matters, including tug operators, class societies, law firms, P&I clubs, port authorities, marine consultants and others are encouraged to attend. Core attendance will be from the British Tugowners Association (BTA) members, who will provide expertise from the sector.


Employment Committee & Seminar

Join us from 10:30 to 17:00 on Tuesday, 20 June 2023, at Pinsent Mason, for this seminar.

There will also be a drinks reception from 4 pm, offering an opportunity for delegates to network.