The UK’s shipping association has today launched its four-point plan for the 2019 General Election. In its ‘Stand up for Shipping’ manifesto, the Chamber calls for more investment to make the UK a world leader in green maritime technology and tax credits for companies who invest in research and development to help cement the UK as a world leading shipping nation.
The four-point plan asks each political party to:
  • Ensure the UK continues to be a world leading place to do business
  • Support the decarbonisation of the shipping industry
  • Help companies provide training schemes for those seeking a career at sea
  • Work with global partners to ensure frictionless trade
Announcing the manifesto, UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive, Bob Sanguinetti, said:
“We are at a critical point in our history and as we head towards another General Election we call on all major parties to ensure the UK remains a great place to do business and increase support for green initiatives, training and apprentices.

“Most importantly though we want to see greater investment across the UK in research and development so we can lead the world in developing the technologies of tomorrow, creating a cleaner, greener global shipping industry and ensuring the UK remains a world leading maritime nation.”
The new UK Government must:
Ensure the UK continues to be a world leading place to do business
To ensure the future success of not only the UK economy but also our vital shipping industry, which contributes £19bn a year and supports 181,000 jobs across the UK, we must have an attractive and competitive fiscal regime
International competitiveness and attractiveness should be increased by improving the existing tax regime for shipping. Tax credits should also be used to encourage greater research and innovation in the UK maritime sector
The long-term Maritime 2050 strategy must be implemented, and the Government must continue to work in partnership with the shipping industry
Maritime services in the UK offer world leading insurance, legal and technical services to the international shipping industry and these must continue to be championed and further developed
UK shipping must be underpinned by a strong national shipping register. The UK Flag must improve its attractiveness and be an international flag of quality accessed through a one stop shop enabling UK registration and investment
The new Government must support the development and diversification of the UK offshore fleet into renewables, enabling the UK offshore energy industry to export its expertise into the burgeoning global offshore renewables market.
Support the decarbonisation of the shipping industry
The Clean Maritime Plan outlines the pathways to deliver zero-emission shipping. The next Government must commit to deliver the implementation of the Clean Maritime Plan
The Government should continue to work in partnership with the industry to support the development of sustainable global maritime environmental regulations through the International Maritime Organization
We need to see increased investment in research and development of sustainable zero-carbon fuels and innovative technologies to help decarbonise the industry, while making the UK a world leader in green shipping
The next Government must support the development of port infrastructure to help the supply of alternative low-carbon and zero-carbon fuels, whilst promoting shoreside power to enable ports to decarbonise
Increased support for coastal shipping around the UK to reduce emissions on our busy roads and away from the centres of population
To help the industry move towards a more sustainable future, the Government should support access to green finance that will encourage shipowners to uptake zero-emission solutions
Help companies provide training schemes for those seeking a career at sea
The new Government must provide resources for campaigns to increase awareness of the career opportunities available within the Merchant Navy
It must commit to continuing SMarT and SMarT Plus funding to assist companies investing in training the ships’ officers of the future. They must also match the long-term commitments into which companies enter in order to turn recruits into senior officers
This funding must be sufficiently flexible to be used to overcome obstacles to training, including constraints on the provision of berths for trainees who require them in order to meet international requirements as to sea-going experience
The new Government must act to ensure that apprenticeships are genuinely employer-led, and suitably flexible in order to be attractive to apprentices and whilst recognising the nuanced employment arrangements of the small vessel sectors to ensure apprenticeship viability
Work with global partners to ensure frictionless trade
We call on the next Government to prioritise and lead on developing and introducing a new ‘Maritime Chapter’ in bi-lateral and multilateral trade negotiations to maximise the opportunities for UK’s international shipping services
The UK must collaborate and encourage the sharing and exchange of trade data to reduce barriers and expedite trade flows with our most important economic partners
The future UK EU trade agreement must recognise the existing high degree of economic integration, safeguarding and promoting short sea shipping services on which this depends
Source: UK Chamber of Shipping