BPA hosts Port Marine Safety Code seminar for duty holders

The British Ports Association today hosted a briefing seminar on the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency’s Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC), specially designed for port duty holders. The BPA has responded to Government calls for industry to promote and champion PMSC compliance and to help port and harbour duty holders understand their roles and responsibilities.


Hosted by the BPA in London, the event was an opportunity for duty holders, such as board members and senior executives, from a variety of UK port authorities to familiarise and refresh themselves with the PMSC. The Code and the accompanying Guide to Good Practice are vital tools used to promote marine safety in harbour areas and to share industry best practice. The seminar examined what is expected of non-executive duty holders in terms of ensuring ports adequately undertake comprehensive risk assessments and design comprehensive marine safety management systems.

The BPA’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne, highlighted the importance of the document and and reiterated the BPA’s recent call for all UK port operators to participate in the MCA’s current PMSC compliance exercise:

“The Port Marine Safety Code remains an extremely important resource for UK ports to demonstrate their own high marine safety standards and to monitor their own performances. The Code and the associated Guide to Good Practice have been created through a long term collaborative partnership between the UK Government and the ports industry. Duty holders have a pivotal role and we want to help ensure that all types of port gain a good understanding of their roles, responsibilities and duties. To help maintain good standards of marine safety, the British Ports Association is strongly encouraging all UK ports to take part in the MCA’s latest compliance exercise which is currently open until March 2018.”


The PMSC sets out a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety and it aims to enhance safety for everyone who uses or works in the port marine environment. It applies to all UK harbour authorities and also now a number of other marine facilities, berths and terminals around the UK.


The BPA is hosting another seminar for duty holders in Edinburgh on 28 November as the industry continues to support the implementation of the recommendations of the PMSC. The UK Harbour Master profession has gone to great lengths to understand and adhere to the lessons of the PMSC but this initiative is primarily aimed to assist non-executive duty holders achieve good governance.