Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), a world leading international centre researching maritime and seafarers’ law, published on 25 September a new report exploring the nature and extent of cabotage laws around the world.
The report, Cabotage Laws of the World,has identified for the first time 91 member states of the United Nations that have cabotage laws restricting foreign activity in their domestic coastal trades.
This report describes the history of maritime cabotage and traces a number of early rudimentary legal principles. It sets out examples of the many different definitions of cabotage that exist today at the national, regional and international levels as well as examples of the restrictions of foreign activity and their waivers in domestic coastal trades.
Evidence-based decision making is highly dependent on accurate facts and the lack of an up-to-date comprehensive study has been a major impediment to thoughtful policy-making on the subject.
SRI was commissioned by the International Transport Workers’ Federation to undertake the independent study.
Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI explained at the time of the paper’s publication: ‘For many people maritime cabotage, or coasting, coastwise or coastal trade as it is sometimes referred to, is understood, if at all, only vaguely. This is not surprising since so little is published on the subject.
‘This was a complex project, given language and cultural barriers and difficulties in statutory interpretations. But the subject is important. It affects a very wide range of trades, services and activities around the world, and with significant social and economic consequences. Policy makers especially need to know more about the subject.’
Cabotage Laws of the Worldat 100 pages is based on legislation and advice received from professional law firms in 140 member states of the United Nations, many of whom are part of SRI’s independent network of lawyers worldwide.
Written by lawyers, but not for lawyers, technical jargon and heavy authoritative footnotes have been kept to a minimum in this valuable document which is available here: http://ftp.elabor8.co.uk/sri/cabotage/flipbook/mobile/index.html
About SRI and the author Deirdre Fitzpatrick
Seafarers Rights International (SRI) is an independent pan-industry centre dedicated to advancing the rights of seafarers through research, education and training in issues concerning seafarers and the law
Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI set up the organisation in September 2010, in response to the need for improved protection for seafarers in national and international laws.
A Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales she is also dual qualified in Ireland and joined the ITF in 1994 to head up its legal services department. She has considerable experience in the protection and enforcement of seafarers’ legal rights and is co-editor of Seafarers’ Rights, published by Oxford University Press
On 11 February the PAC published as evidence a National Audit Office memorandum titled:
The award of contracts for additional freight capacity on ferry services
The document is available here: www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/public-accounts/Correspondence/2017-19/Memorandum%20for%20PAC%20-%20The%20award%20of%20contracts%20for%20ferry%20services.pdf
PAC Chair Meg Hillier MP commented: ‘The scrapping of the Seaborne contract, and the NAO review we have published today, raise serious issues which we will explore at our session on progress with Brexit preparations on Wednesday (13 February).
It was announced on 8 February that IMO has launched a new logo for its Women in Maritime programme, as part of its mission to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Programme lead Helen Buni said: ‘The IMO Women in Maritime programme supports the participation of women in both shore-based and sea-going posts, under the slogan Training-Visibility-Recognition’, through a wide range of gender-specific activities. The new logo is just one visible part of the programme and will help women in maritime gain more visibility and exposure throughout the maritime sector and beyond.’