A number of important decisions were agreed during the 2011 Red Ensign conference which took place at the Hotel L’Horizon, in Jersey, from Tuesday 10 to Friday 13 May.

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 on Wednesday 11 May. A corporate identity is to be considered for the Red Ensign Group. Alongside this there is to be a new website to promote common safety standards and marketing for the Group as a whole.

Other measures discussed included the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 which is due to be in force within 12 months. Whilst 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. The Conference made good progress on how to manage these changes; particularly with regard to vessels under 200 gross tons.

The Economic Development Minister, Senator Alan Maclean, is delighted with the outcome of the conference saying, “It is important for the shipping registry in Jersey to develop and in so doing drive activity and growth opportunities in the wider economy.”

A Gala Dinner, supported by local law firm, Bedell Trust was hosted by Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Ozouf, on Thursday 12 May. The event was attended by 70 delegates and guests including Albert Levy, a senior partner at Ince and Co (London international law firm), Heather Bestwick, Technical Director of Jersey Finance, Doug Barrow, Chief Executive of Maritime London and David Capps, representing the local maritime business group, Jersey Maritime International.

Key points included:
• Agreement to plan for an expanded Category 2 Register for Jersey – a correspondence group is to be formed to work on a new Memorandum of Understanding between Jersey and the MCA .The aim is to maintain the current absolute 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’ rights 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.
• Spearheaded by the Cayman Islands, the new Passenger Yacht Code has already attracted real interest. This makes provision for taking more than12 passengers in large motor yachts and a number of vessels are already in build.

Notes to editors:

1. For more information please contact Piers Baker (Registrar of Shipping) on 01534-448138 or Debbie Podger (Assistant Registrar) on 01534-448128