With the aim of growing the U.K. Ship Register and attracting more maritime business to the U.K., a new a senior level director role has been created at the U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) as part of the government’s aspiration to grow the nation’s share with the global maritime sector.
The new position, which will be tasked with encouraging ship owners to join the U.K. Ship Register, was announced by Sir Alan Massey, CEO of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at an event during London International Shipping Week.
“The UK Flag has seemingly become less attractive to ship owners and operators and we cannot go on ignoring the problem,” Massey said. “. . . Something has needed to change. In recent years the number of ships and the total gross tonnage on the U.K. Ship Register has fallen compared to the previous decade of growth.”
“Following the recommendations of the Maritime Growth Study, we will be working with industry to reinforce the strong partnership base that already exists to ensure the U.K. retains its place as a world leading maritime center.”
Massey said the primary role of the new Director will be to attract owners of quality ships to the U.K. Flag by meeting their requirements for registration, ship surveys, audits and certification. The new Director would also need the ability to build strong, constructive relationships with those in the maritime industries and the international shipping community, he said.
“I completely understand the view that said we need to give more senior time and attention to our engagement with the shipping industry and to work towards a more business friendly approach. That is why we have created a new Senior Civil Service role of Director of the U.K. Ship Register which is now being widely advertised.”
“We are a world-class maritime center, and maritime services have a natural home in the U.K.,” Massey said, “so let’s play to our advantages.”
“The U.K. Ship Register has a proud record as one of the best performing flags in the major Port State Control regimes, with a reputation for maintaining the highest standards,” said Minister for Shipping Robert Goodwill. “Be in no doubt that we want to see more ships joining the U.K. Ship Register. But equally, I want to assure everyone that we will maintain the quality of our services whilst growing the flag. These factors are not mutually exclusive – we can and we will have both.”