Policies and Plans
The Port Marine Safety Code and Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations
1n 1998 the Department of Transport, in light of the” Sea Empress” disaster, undertook a review of the 1987 Pilotage act, the act of Parliament that had conferred responsibility for Pilotage in the UK upon Competent Harbour Authorities. The review concluded that Pilotage should rightly remain the responsibility of Competent Harbour Authorities and become integrated with other port marine activity under the management and responsibility of the Statutory Authority. Several recommendations also came from this review, the principle one being the Port Marine Safety Code. (PMSC)
The Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) was first published on 15 March 2000 and introduced a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety. The Code establishes a measure by which Harbour Authorities can be held accountable for their legal powers and duties to run their harbours’ in safety. It is intended that the Code applies to all Harbour Authorities, to the extent that they have duties and powers relating to marine safety.
This position has been agreed nationally with representatives of all parties but relies on existing legal duties and powers for its legitimacy. The Code therefore applies to all those Harbour Authorities founded on primary legislation i.e. Statutory Harbour Authorities. A summary of the legal duties and powers of Harbour Authorities relating to marine safety is included within the Code. However, it does not create new legal duties for Harbour Authorities.
Put simply, the PMSC serves to outline the requirements of the various applicable laws, acts and orders, in such a way that we, as Harbour Authorities and their appointed port marine staff, can be reasonably assured that if we follow the code we are following the national standard and are most probably fulfilling the various duties and responsibilities under the legislation that we are duty bound to observe.
Both the Code and Guide to Good Practice have been updated and new versions were published on 2nd September 2009
The Newport Harbour Authority Marine Policies & Port Marine Safety Management System.
The Safety Management System prescribed in the PMSC focuses on the safe management of our port marine activities, ensuring that the risks are properly assessed, reviewed and updated as trades and practices change or when our experiences dictate the need. Along with risk assessment, monitoring and review the PMSC expects a Harbour Authorities’ Safety Management System to incorporate safety policies and procedures to:
- Ensure there is proper control of ship movements by regulating the safe arrival, departure and movement within the harbour of all vessels;
- Protect the general public from dangers arising from marine activities within the harbour;
- Carry out all its functions with special regard to the possible environmental impact;
- Prevent acts or omissions that may cause personal injury to employees or others.
The Port Marine Safety Code states that a Port Marine Safety Management System should also:
- Confirm the roles and responsibilities of key personnel at the harbour authority;
- Outline present procedures for marine safety within the harbour (including the port approaches);
- Refer to emergency plans that would need to be exercised; and
Be audited (internally) on an annual basis.
Where appropriate, the Port Marine Safety Management System should assign responsibility for associated matters -such as the safety of berths; for maintaining channels; hydrographic surveys; environmental monitoring; and the provision of appropriate engineering and environmental advice.
Section 3 of the PMSC goes on to detail key measures for compliance. If our Port Marine Safety Management systems aim to ensure that along with the points above, these key measures for compliance are met then we can be reasonably assured that we are fulfilling the aims of the PMSC.
For that reason the Newport Harbour Commissioners Port Marine Safety Management system Document not only details how the marine risks are assessed, mitigated and managed within the principles of Newport Harbour Commissioners policies and the Safety Management System but also describes how those “Key measures for compliance” are met and the procedures that are in place to meet them.
Policy document (pdf - 350k)
The PMSC requires all Harbour Authorities to publish plans and to report on that plans effectiveness, in a format of the Harbour Authorities choosing.
The Newport Harbour Authority SMS document is in the form of a Port Plan against which the effectiveness of the SMS it describes can be measured.
Every 3 years Newport Harbour Commissioners will issue a statement of compliance with the PMSC , please follow the link to view the most recent statement.
PMSC - Statement of Compliance (pdf - 38k)
1.1 The overall aim of the Newport Harbour Commissioners (“NHC”) is to generate sufficient funds, primarily from Harbour Dues, to allow their duties, as set out in Statute, to be undertaken in an efficient, effective and economic manner.
1.2 The level of Harbour Dues will be kept under constant review. In addition, a detailed review will be recorded formally at both the December meeting of the Commissioners and the meeting, typically in March of each year, where the annual budget is discussed and approved. Where an amendment to Harbour Dues is agreed, this information will be disseminated to all stakeholders as soon as possible.
1.3 When setting the level of Harbour Due to be levied, NHC will have due regard to, inter alia:
a) The predicted level of shipping (measured in tonnage terms) that will be utilising the Harbour over the next 12 months
b) The level of any other income to be generated (e.g. Investment income)
c) On-going costs to be defrayed in undertaking the duties of the Commissioners d) The financial implications of the 1916 Act of Parliament dealing with the funding of the costs of dredging the main channel at the Harbour of Newport
d) Any known “one-off” material costs to be incurred in the future e) The appropriate level of reserves to be maintained by NHC (see 1.4 below).
1.4 NHC will maintain a level of reserves deemed appropriate by the Board. This level will be subject to review on an annual basis (review to be formally minuted at the meeting that the annual budget is confirmed). The current policy is that reserves maintained should be approximately equivalent to 12 months average expenditure.
1.5 Other working policies include:
a) All payments without exception will be approved by the NHC Board. b) All cheque payments will be signed by two Commissioners. In rare exceptions where this is not possible (e.g. illness), the Secretary will act as the second signature
c) If an emergency payment is required in advance of the Board meeting, the Chairman may, in exceptional circumstances, approve a payment. This is subject to later approval by the Board. Wherever possible in this circumstance, the Chairman will discuss the matter with the Vice-Chairman and any other Commissioner he deems appropriate in advance of giving his approval.
Finance Policy (pdf - 41k)