Select Committee on Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Letter to the Chairman of the Committee by the Department of Trade and Industry, Isle of Man Government (FUS 41)

THE FUTURE OF THE UK SHIPPING INDUSTRY

  I have noted from recent Press Articles that a Sub-committee of the Environment, Transport and Regional Affairs Select Committee has invited written memoranda by Friday 4 December 1998 from interested parties on, inter alia, "The benefits of encouraging UK ship registration, the extent and implications of `flagging out', and the specific position of the Isle of Man registry."

  I have been personally involved with all aspects of the Isle of Man Register and the Marine Administration for the past seven years, and am currently the Minister for Trade and Industry in the Isle of Man Government, thus having specific responsibility for the Isle of Man Register. I am also a member of the Steering Group of AMRIE (the Alliance of Maritime Interests in Europe) based in Brussels, and I chair the working group on Shipping Quality, which examines Draft European Directives affecting the industry and meets quarterly in London.

  The position of the Isle of Man's Register in relation to the United Kingdom is set out in a recently agreed Memorandum of Understanding between the UK Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions and the Isle of Man Department of Trade and Industry, a copy of which is enclosed. The document makes it clear that we have common interests in ensuring the maintenance of the high standards for which the Red Ensign is recognised, and in other issues directly related to your Sub-committee's published terms of reference. Recently I have been invited by Warsash Nautical College to chair the Steering Group of a new research project looking at the recruitment and retention of British Merchant Navy personnel.

  In the past decade I cannot recall any Select Committee of the House of Commons investigating any subject specific to the Isle of Man, so I am not clear of the protocol in this case.

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING IN RESPECT OF THE SURVEY AND CERTIFICATION OF SHIPS ON THE ISLE OF MAN REGISTER

1. GENERAL

  1.1 This Memorandum of Understanding between the United Kingdom Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) and the Isle of Man Department of Trade and Industry (hereinafter referred to as the Marine Administration) defines responsibilities and conditions relating to the operation by the Marine Administration of a British Category 1 Shipping Register under the provisions of Section 18 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 of the United Kingdom.

  1.2 The standards of ship safety and pollution prevention to be observed by the Marine Administration will be those observed by the United Kingdom. The Marine Administration undertakes to comply with those standards and the DETR confirms the general intention that these should not exceed the requirements of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Conventions (hereinafter referred to as International Conventions). This undertaking inter alia recognises and safeguards the position of the UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions who has ultimate responsibility for the safety of British shipping.

  1.3 Whilst a uniform approach to regulation is an underlying principle in maintaining the integrity of British registries, a different approach to regulation by the Marine Administration may be adopted, conditional on such an approach achieving the same objective. To this end, when an alternative approach is considered necessary, the Marine Administration undertakes to consult with DETR before implementation and to use its best endeavours to reach agreement.

2. INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS AND LEGISLATION

  2.1 The United Kingdom is the signatory to International Conventions which aims to increase the safety standards for shipping and pollution prevention. The United Kingdom shall, within the context of the existing constitutional arrangements, extend International Conventions to the Isle of Man and such will be implemented either by existing local legislation or by the creation of new local legislation to enable such International Conventions to be enforced.

  2.2 Similarly, the United Kingdom enacts Merchant Shipping legislation to consolidate, implement and enforce measures connected with the safety of shipping and pollution prevention and, with the exception of legislation deriving from the European Union and having application solely in connection with membership of the European Community, the Marine Administration undertakes to introduce local legislation to reflect and achieve the aims of this UK legislation.

3. ADMINISTRATION

  3.1 The Marine Administration is responsible for the administration of its Register and for the implementation of legislation on shipping safety and pollution prevention. It will oversee whatever arrangements are established to ensure the compliance of ships on its Register with international requirements. In particular it will be concerned with ensuring proper arrangements for the administrations of the Register and will be directly concerned with all matters relating to the survey of ships and the issuing of Convention and other certificates in accordance with the provisions of the Merchant Shipping legislation in force.

  3.2 The DETR will represent the Marine Administration in any international forum where Convention requirements are being negotiated and undertakes to consult it on any matter affecting or likely to affect the Marine Administration's interests, and to keep it fully informed in all such matters. Such process may involve attendance of the Marine Administration, in conjunction with the United Kingdom, at international fora such as the IMO and ILO.

  3.3 The Marine Administration shall consist, as a minimum, of those persons listed in Annex 2 to this MOU and shall, as a minimum, undertake the following functions:

    (i)  ensure proper maintenance of the Register and the issue of registration certificates;

    (ii)  determine the eligibility of vessel for registration;

    (iii)  ensure the proper tonnage measurement of vessels;

    (iv)  keep detailed records concerning vessels and crews;

    (v)  arrange for the repatriation of stranded crew members;

    (vi)  investigate and, where appropriate, recommend prosecution for offences under Merchant Shipping legislation;

    (vii)  supervise the employment conditions and discipline of seamen;

    (viii)  provide advice to operators, owners and masters of registered ships on marine safety and compliance with international requirements;

    (ix)  ensure all specified vessels on the Register are properly manned, surveyed and certificated under the International Conventions;

    (x)  oversee the investigation of accidents involving ships on its Register and take any necessary follow-up action;

    (xi)  ensure vessel equipment is to proper and approved standards;

    (xii)  issue Certificates of Exemption or withdraw certificates as appropriate; and

    (xiii)  liaise with classification societies and owners on issues affecting Convention ships on the Register.

  3.4 Where the Marine Administration authorises a surveyor who is not directly employed by the Administration to undertake statutory survey work, unless otherwise agreed with DETR, such a surveyor will report directly and exclusively to the Marine Administration. In such cases, any reports required to be made to DETR by virtue of this MOU will be made by the Marine Administration. The appointment by the Marine Administration of an authorised surveyor will be in writing and will specify the activity to be carried out by the surveyor on behalf of the Marine Administration.

4. SURVEYS AND CERTIFICATION

  4.1 All existing ships over 150 GRT and all new ships over 24 metres in length are required to be surveyed and certificated under the Load Line Convention. All ships carrying noxious liquids in bulk, oil tankers over 150 GRT and all other ships over 400 GRT are required to be surveyed and certificated under the MARPOL Convention. Cargo ships over 500 GRT (300 GRT for those with radio installations, including those used in life-saving appliances, to which SOLAS Convention Chapters III and IV apply) and all passenger ships undertaking international voyages are required to be surveyed and certificated under the requirements of the SOLAS Convention. The Marine Administration undertakes to apply survey standards to ships subject to International Conventions on its Register equivalent to those applied by the UK.

  4.2 Where the Marine Administration appoints a classification society to carry out statutory work on its behalf, the Administration shall ensure that the Society will, for this purpose, use only surveyors authorised to carry out the work in accordance witch an agreement will set out the scope, terms, conditions and requirements regulating the way in which any such work is to be undertaken and will not permit a greater extent of delegation to the classification society than that which is then currently authorised by the United Kingdom. Only classification societies listed in Annex 1 may be appointed.

  4.3 All requests for survey and certification will be progressed directly by the Marine Administration and the appropriate classification society. In the case of a "new build", a classification society surveyor, appointed in compliance with paragraph 4.2, will also be appointed to undertake the on-site surveys required and to act as a focal point between the builders and the Marine Administration.

  4.4 Responsibility for initial surveys shall be assigned as shown in Table 1, subject to footnotes 1 and 2.

TABLE 1

Initial Surveys

Survey TypeAction By—Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Action By—Marine Administration Action By—Classification SocietyAction By—Other Organisation Certificate Issued By

Passenger ShipUndertake plan approval and surveys of non-delegated items using own surveyors. Will complete a partial declaration Monitor progressUndertake plan approval and
delegated hull and machinery surveys
as indicated in UK/Class survey agreements. Partial declarations to be completed
Undertake plan approval and surveys of Radio Equipment and issue appropriate partial declaration Marine Administration
Load LineAssess conditions of assignment for non-classed vessels Assess conditions of assignment for classed vessels Marine Administration or classification society as appropriate
Safety Construction Approve Structural Fire Protection and Escape arrangements and complete partial declaration Undertake plan approval and survey Marine Administration or classification society
Safety Radio Assess proposed arrangements and undertake survey.
To issue declaration (Note 2)
Marine Administration or other organisation
International Oil Pollution Undertake plan approval including approval of SOPEP and conduct Survey. May assess MARPOL damage stability Marine Administration
Safety EquipmentApprove plans and conduct survey Marine Administration
Mobile Offshore Drilling UnitsApprove plans and conduct surveys under MODU code Marine Administration
Certificates of Fitness in respect of Bulk Chemical and Gas carrying vessels Conduct plan approval and surveys of vessel, and provide Marine Administration with declaration of survey Marine Administration
Tonnage Undertake plan approval and survey Classification society
Mega YachtUndertake plan approval and survey for vessels of less
than 500grt
For vessels > than 500grt approve plans and survey in accordance with the Code For vessels >300grt will approve plans
and survey in accordance with the Code
<500grt Marine Administration; >500grt classification society
Other Aspects
Carriage of
Dangerous Goods
Approve plans and conduct survey, provide partial declaration to Marine Admin Marine Administration to issue Document of Compliance
Crew AccommodationMarine Administration to approve plans and conduct survey if appropriate Marine Administration to issue exemption certificates if appropriate
Equipment ApprovalMarine Administration may approve equipment or delegate to an organisation recognised by DETR May undertake as authorised by Marine Administration Appropriate organisation to issue type approval certification

Note 1.
The actions listed in column 1 of Table 1 may be undertaken by the Marine Administration or by the Marine Administration of another British Register, provided that Marine Administration has been authorised as competent to undertake those actions by the DETR. Such authorised competencies are contained in Annex 3.


  4.5 Responsibility for other surveys shall be assigned as shown in Table 2, subject to footnote 2.

TABLE 2

Other Surveys

Survey TypeAction By—Marine Administration Action By—
Classification society
Action By—Other OrganisationCertificate Issuing Authority

Passenger ShipUndertake surveys of non-delegated items using own or other Red Ensign surveyors. Will complete a partial declaration Undertake delegated hull and machinery surveys as indicated in UK/Class survey agreements. Partial declarations to be completed Undertake surveys of Radio Equipment and issue appropriate partial declaration (Note 2) Marine Administration
LoadLineUndertake surveys on all unclassed vessels Undertake surveys on classed vessels Marine Administration or classification society as appropriate
Safety Construction Undertake survey. Confirm that escapes and structural fire protection continue to be satisfactory Classification society
Safety Radio Undertake survey. To issue declaration
(Note 2)
Marine Administration or other organisation
International Oil PollutionUndertake Surveys Undertake surveysClassification society on renewal or Mari Administration
Safety EquipmentMay conduct survey or delegate subject to 1 in 5 surveys being undertaken by Marine Administration May be undertaken at request of Marine Administration Marine Administration
Mobile Offshore
Drilling Units
Undertake annual intermediate renewal surveys Marine Administration
Certificates of Fitness in respect of Bulk cargo and Gas carrying vessels Marine Administration or other Red Ensign surveyors to conduct survey May undertake Annual/Intermediate surveys at discretion of Marine Administration Marine Administration
Mega YachtUndertakes survey if vessel is not classed. May undertake surveys in other cases. Subject to 1 SEC in 5 being conducted by Marine Administration May conduct surveys as for other classed convention vessels <500 grt Marine Administration for issue of Certificate of Compliance. Other certification as above
Other Aspects
Carriage of
Dangerous Goods
To renew at 5 year interval in conjunction with SEC. Marine Administration to re-issue Document of Compliance on expiry
Equipment ApprovalMarine Administration may approve equipment or delegate or an organisation recognised by DETR. May undertake as authorised by Marine Administration Appropriate organisation to issue type approval certificates

Note 2.
The Marine Administration may appoint an organisation to undertake surveys of Radio Equipment on its behalf. Such appointment shall include a written agreement of similar nature to that outlined in paragraph 3.4.


  4.6 Responsibility for Stability approval shall be as set out at Annex 4.

5. INVESTIGATION AND REPORTING OF ACCIDENTS, HAZARDOUS INCIDENTS AND CASUALTIES

  5.1 The Marine Administration is required to investigate accidents and hazardous incidents in accordance with the requirements of International Conventions. The Marine Administration may appoint a suitable surveyor or inspection to investigate such accidents and hazardous incidents and the Marine Administration will take appropriate follow up action. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch of the DETR may, upon the Marine Administration's request, investigate an accident or hazardous incident, but the cost of such an investigation will be borne by the Marine Administration.

  5.2 In order to comply with the general obligation under the SOLAS Convention to report accidents and all serious casualties (defined by IMO as the loss of a vessel of 1,600 gross tonnage or more, or accidents involving ships of 500 tons or more if loss of life is involved) occurring on ships subject to the Convention, the Marine Administration shall supply a report to the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) detailing all such incidents.

6. INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT CODE FOR THE SAFE OPERATION OF SHIPS AND FOR POLLUTION PREVENTION (INTERNATIONAL SAFETY MANAGEMENT (ISM) CODE)

  6.1 For ships which are currently on its Register, to which the ISM Code applies, the Marine Administration shall issue a Document of Compliance to each company found, following satisfactory audit, to comply with that Code. Similarly, the Marine Administration shall issue a Safety Management Certificate to each ship, following satisfactory audit. The audits shall be conducted by qualified Marine Administration auditors or qualified MCA auditors authorised by the Marine Administration or, exceptionally, by auditors appointed by the Marine Administration from those classification societies listed in Annex 1.

  6.2 For ships undergoing registration with the Marine Administration, if current ISM certification is carried, unless reason exists to the contrary, the Marine Administration shall accept and issue corresponding documentation. Upon renewal or in the absence of any ISM documentation the Marine Administration shall carry out audits as in paragraph 6.1.

  6.3 When accepting Documents of Compliance issued to companies having vessels registered in a number of countries, the Marine Administration shall follow the guidelines laid down by the IMO for mutual recognition.

7. MONITORING OF THE MARINE ADMINISTRATION REGISTER

  7.1 The Secretary of State has ultimate responsibility for the safety and pollution prevention of all British ships. The MCA will carry out periodic monitoring visits of the Marine Administration. The purpose of these visits is to review the safety and pollution standards set and enforced by all British Registers, to ensure that international obligations are being met to safeguard the position of the Secretary of State and to assist the Marine Administration in meeting these objectives. A copy of the Monitoring Report will be supplied to the Marine Administration.

  7.2 The scope of the monitoring visit will include a review of procedures and methods employed by the Marine Administration within the following key areas: registration, seafarers' standards, ship survey and certification, ship inspection, accident reporting and investigation.

8. REVIEW OF ANNEXES

  8.1 The annexes to this MOU may be reviewed at the request of either party to the MOU.

Signed for and on behalf of the

    Signed for and on behalf of the DETR

Isle of Man Department of Trade and Industry

Date: 4 November 1998

    Date: 4 November 1998


 
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