The briefing on the Brexit effect on shipping

The news, views and numbers you need to know this month

News in numbers


of 3,000 members of the British public polled by KPMG believe that they will face severe travel delays across the transport network, particularly at ports


of UK production is bound for continental Europe


The total value of goods the UK imported in 2016


In 2016, UK was the tenth largest exporter in the world


The funds to finance 5,000 additional HMRC customs officials to be employed by 2019


The top five export destinations of the UK are the US, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland

In quotes

European Network of Maritime Clusters (ENMC) statement:

The European maritime community supports Maritime UK’s ambition for a mutually beneficial deal between the UK and EU. The deal must minimise disruption at our ports and to the complex pan-European supply chains we’ve built together. People are often lost in this debate. Be it seafarers or others working in our maritime sector – the most global of industries – the deal must enable our people to be able to work, live and move across Europe.

The Rt. Hon. David Dingle, Maritime UK chairman:

Business leaders from across the economy support the maritime sector’s call for a pragmatic Brexit deal that enables frictionless trade. We cannot accept that no deal is better than any deal.

Guy Platten, UK Chamber of Shipping CEO:

I think this country is a great place to do maritime business. I genuinely believe that. Brexit or no Brexit, it will remain a great place. Most shipping contracts are written with English law as the default option. We were [after all] a great maritime nation before we joined the EU.

Electrification – maybe that’s a black swan. Maybe by 2050 we will have found a way to include decarbonized electricity within the maritime sector. That would be transformational.

Top stories

UK transport secretary Chris Grayling is making contingency plans for the government to enter the business of cross-channel shipping in the event of a "no-deal Brexit." The plan, dubbed "Government Owned or Operated Logistics," or GOOL, would see the UK purchase or charter merchant vessels or convert some of its own naval vessels in order to ensure the arrival of critical goods from the continent, including consignments of medicine. It would be activated in the event of an alarming development: the possibility that after Brexit, French customs checks cut down import freight shipments via Dover and the Channel Tunnel by 85% or more.

Source: Maritime Executive

The Irish Maritime Development Office has called for an orderly resolution to Brexit talks to avoid a significant disruption at ports if the UK crashes out of the bloc next March. The IMDO was one of 16 EU maritime agencies to issue a statement yesterday warning about the consequences of a no-deal Brexit.

Source: The Sunday Times

Guidance on getting an exemption from maritime security notifications and the recognition of seafarer certificates of competency are among 28 documents published by the UK government as part of its planning for a "no deal‟ Brexit. For the maritime industry, there are details on getting an exemption from maritime security notifications. “In a no deal scenario, EU countries would be unable to issue exemptions to vessels, irrespective of registration or flag, operating scheduled services from the UK,” one technical notice reads.

Source: MaltaWinds

The UK Chamber of Shipping has expressed concerns over the future prospects of the seafarers, including employment, if the country goes for a no-deal Brexit. The concerns were revealed after the Government of the UK published another 28 technical notices to alert on how to reduce the potential disruption in the event of a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU). Two of the notices were related to two shipping-related issues, one on seafarer certification and the other on maritime security.

Source: Ship Technology

The Port Authority of Belgium’s Antwerp port has unveiled a number of initiatives to deal with the impact of Brexit. The UK and the port of Antwerp currently trade approximately 15m tonnes of freight annually, thereby making the country one of the biggest maritime trading partners after the US and Russia. Other initiatives taken by the Port Authority to handle Brexit include a Brexit taskforce that comprises representatives of the port community, Customs & Excise and the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain.

Source: Ship Technology