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Passenger searches at ports Following a request by the UK Chamber, the

Home Office undertook a review during autumn 2012 of police powers, in Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act, to search passengers at ports. The UK Chamber submitted detailed

comments emphasising the need for safeguards against the abuse of these powers. It focused on how the police select vehicles for checks, and on the practice of stopping cars for questioning as they drive past rather than directing them into an examination area. Developments will be followed closely during 2013.

Maritime law update In October 2012 the Comité Maritime International (CMI) hosted its 40th conference in Beijing. Delegates considered proposals for significant changes to the Salvage Convention 1989 and the York Antwerp Rules (YAR) on General Average. The proposals involved the introduction of an additional financial award for salvors to take account of environmental salvage (in the Salvage Convention) and exclusions that would have affected the costs payable by shipowners in terms of the working of the YAR. Shipowner interests (including the UK Chamber) were successful in persuading delegates to oppose the vast majority of the proposals, which effectively resulted in no change to either regime. However, the YAR are to be reviewed in advance of the next CMI conference in 2016.

News on the Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims

In April 2012 the IMO Legal Committee reviewed the limits of liability under International Convention of Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976 (LLMC), as amended by the 1996 Protocol to the LLMC. Despite considerable pressure to increase the liability limits to the maximum permitted under the terms of the Convention, the UK – along with the majority of other states – supported increases in the liability limits of no more than 45% (51% from 2015), in line with inflation rates since the adoption of the 1996 Protocol. These limits are to take effect from April 2015, with no further review until 2020.

The Antarctic Bill The Antarctic Bill seeks to implement in

UK law a protocol to the Antarctic Treaty on liability arising from environmental emergencies. The Bill imposes financial liability on operators – visiting (rather than in transit through) the Antarctic region – who fail to respond to incidents. It requires such operators to have adequate insurance cover or other financial security. The UK Chamber has campaigned to ensure that the regime is consistent with existing shipping liability conventions. On 1 February the Bill was read for the second time in the House of Lords and passed to the Committee of the Whole House.

Careers at Sea and Beyond Careers at Sea and Beyond is a new website launched by the MNTB in 2012 as an extension of the Careers at Sea online information hub. The site provides practical support to junior officers entering the industry and signposts qualified seafarers to longer term options for personal and professional development. It also profiles career opportunities across the maritime sector as a whole. The next phase of the website is due to launch in August 2013.

Staff changes

In April 2012, Donald Chard, Head of Insurance, Legal and Documentary, retired from the UK Chamber after an impressive 39 years of service. Donald’s expertise and depth of knowledge earned him a strong reputation both in the UK and internationally, particularly in his work with BIMCO. Following Donald’s departure, Tim Springett became Head of Employment and Legal and Ian Cloke joined as Manager of Employment Affairs. In November 2012, Stewart Conacher, Company Secretary of the UK Chamber, retired after an equally notable 40 years’ service. Stewart had worked in several departments across the UK Chamber during his career and so became the ‘guardian’ of its constitution in his later role. In a new role of Chief Financial Officer, Richard Barker joined in September 2012. Richard’s role includes the duties of Company Secretary, alongside financial and operational responsibilities.


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