The British Ports Association has welcomed the news that the legislation on port services provision will be revoked in the UK by the end of the year. It suggests the move will help maintain the competitiveness of British ports and help keep a flexible and open system for port users.
Despite many of the customs and borders challenges the UK ports sector has faced since the UK’s departure from the EU, this is one development that can be viewed as a genuine Brexit dividend.
The legislation was introduced at the tail end of the UK’s membership of the European Union and the Department for Transport has today confirmed will be revoked under the recently passed Retained UK Law Act. This will enable UK ports to continue to use British rules on governance and maintain their existing flexible regimes and arrangements with service providers.
This is excellent news for the UK maritime industry as the PSR created an inflexible system with additional costs for ports and shippers. The announcement means our industry can continue to operate without the unsuitable rules that could have delayed and frustrated valued port users and service providers. Unlike other ports communities our industry is underpinned by financial, strategic and regulatory independence as well as a strong element of competition and customer service. These rules were originally devised to suit other European port sectors where there was an absence of similar rules but with more state involvement. We have therefore long since maintained that they are not suitable in the UK. Indeed we already have clear and well understood existing rules and arrangements in place, which results in port users in Britain being served by a modern and dynamic customer facing ports sector.
The Department for Transport today confirmed that following a consultation last year the 2017 Port Services Regulation and the Ports Services Regulations 2019 would be repealed at the end of this year under the provisions of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023.