On 3 August 2017, the new Recreational Craft Regulations 2017 finally joined the statute book and became law in the UK after much deliberation. This legislation is more generally known as the RCD, or Recreational Craft Directive (2013/53/EU) and this version updates and repeals the earlier 2004 regulations.
The 2017 Recreational Craft Regulations follow the requirements of the RCD, while also setting out the UK market surveillance responsibilities. This essentially relates to what trading standards can and will do to ensure compliance. Their powers to impose penalties on companies found in breach of the regulations are immense and could result in products being taken off the market, fines imposed and even imprisonment in some cases.
The UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) is modernising the way the UK Ship Register operates with a number of new initiatives being rolled out as the Agency is also addressing the issue of a shortfall in surveyors on its books.
At the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Maritime and Ports, attendees were informed that the MCA is considering increasing the fee structure for the UK Ship Register to above 2016 levels.
Strong words and opinions have resulted as a consequence of the Australian Senate inquiry, which finds flag of convenience shipping poses serious risks to national security. Flag of convenience shipping refers to international trading vessels that are registered in tax havens such as Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands and are renowned for their lax labour laws, poor investment controls and lack of ownership oversight.
The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has issued a notice announcing that all vessels arriving in New Zealand must have clean hulls from May 2018 as new biofouling regulations are set to become law. The Craft Risk Management Standard (CRMS) has been developed to provide guidance regarding compliance.
From May 2018, vessels must arrive in New Zealand with a clean hull. Vessels staying up to 20 days and only visiting designated ports (places of first arrival) will be allowed a slight amount of biofouling. Vessels staying longer and visiting other places will only be allowed a slime layer and goose barnacles.
As part of its strategic initiatives to drive maritime innovation and creativity, the Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA) celebrated the launch of Innovation Quay, a new ambitious initiative designed to take advantage of technological innovations in support of the efforts to promote development in all aspects of the maritime sector and contribute to the country’s economic diversification in preparation for the UAE’s post-oil era. The project is part of the DMCA’s tireless efforts to support the country’s program to inculcate innovation in the domestic work culture and lifestyle and promote the UAE as one of the most innovative countries in the world.