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Progress at Red Ensign conference

25 May 2011

A number of important agreements were reached during the 2011 Red Ensign conference earlier this month.

The conference was attended by some 40 delegates from the marine administrations and shipping registries of the Crown Dependencies, the UK Overseas Territories and the UK Shipping Registry.

The Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), Sir Alan Massey KCB CBE, co-chaired the conference with Jersey and the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, Mike Penning MP, attended the opening ceremony.

Key points agreed:

  • to plan for an expanded Category 2 Register for Jersey - a correspondence group will work on a new Memorandum of Understanding between Jersey and the MCA. The aim is to maintain the current limit of 400 tons but to remove the 150 ton limit for registration of commercial ships

  • Department for Transport to work with Jersey and Guernsey to achieve equity for passengers on the UK - Jersey - Guernsey - St Malo routes. This will ensure Channel Island residents have access to national (UK and French) enforcement bodies due to be established under EU legislation in 2012

  • a corporate identity to be considered for the Red Ensign Group

  • a new website will promote common safety standards and market the Group as a whole

Other measures discussed included the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 which is due to be in force within 12 months. While Jersey will not be seeking ratification in the immediate future, this will have a major impact for all registries, affecting yacht design, crew accommodation and facilities, crew contracts and international inspections.

Also on the agenda was the new Passenger Yacht Code which has attached considerable interest worldwide. The code, which was spearheaded by the Cayman Islands, makes provision for taking more than 12 passengers in large motor yachts.

The Economic Development Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, is delighted with the outcome of the conference. He said "It is important for the shipping registry in Jersey to develop and drive activity and growth opportunities into the wider economy."

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