Although the content is yet to be finalised the Bill is expected to include a number of vital provisions relating to navigational safety at UK ports, which the industry welcomes. If passed the legislation would provide many ports with new powers to help implement their safety responsibilities under the UK’s Port Marine Safety Code while at the same time reducing regulation. While the UK ports industry has a good safety record the legislation would give port authorities a vital tool to ensure continued navigational and marine safety in the future.
The Bill comes at a time when the Department for Transport has announced that there will be a refresh review of the PMSC later this year, on which the BPA will be closely involved.
The Bill will revive much of the Department for Transport’s Draft Marine Navigation Bill, which was consulted on in 2008 but as a result of Parliamentary business pressures never found its way onto the Statute Book. A separate and more restricted Private Bill was introduced earlier this year in the House of Lords by Lord Berkeley, however the significance of the latest Bill is that it has the Government’s backing.
This latest Bill was presented to Parliament through the ballot procedure on 20 June, when it received its First Reading. It is expected to have its Commons Second Reading debate on 19 October.