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Q1 Newsletter
Mister MLC retires
Dick Welsh, IOM Ship Registry Director, pays tribute to a stalwart of the registry team….

“After 21 years in the Ship Registry, Ron Strathdee, Principal surveyor, MLC guru, and stalwart of the register has retired to begin the next phase of his life. Ron joined from Shell Ship Management in 1996, initially as quality manager to implement an ISO quality management system ahead of the new world of safety management which was on the horizon at the time. He later trained as a surveyor and more latterly Principal Surveyor.
"I guess Ron’s legacy will always be the Maritime Labour Convention. He led the project team for a project which took on a life of its own and swallowed more and more people. He quickly became Mr MLC, and his advice and calm, pragmatic dealings with all parties really did lead the way and put the Isle of Man in a great position.

"With ISO, ISM and MLC to his credit, we owe Ron a great deal and he really needed to get away before the next TLA (three letter acronym) hit our shores! I can only echo the great many messages of gratitude Ron received from our clients and wish him well in his retirement. Ron is a keen amateur photographer and I’m sure he will take his Island landscapes to the next level. He is also taking up golf. Enjoy a well-deserved retirement Ron.”
Tonnage hits new heights
The Isle of Man Ship Registry closed its reporting year on 31 March 2017 at just under 17m Gross Registered Tons. This new record high put the Isle of Man in 12th place on Clarkson’s table of world registers by Tonnage.

Growth in tonnage over the twelve month reporting period shows 11.7% growth which is significant and compares favourably with Clarkson’s world fleet growth of 3.6% over the same period.

This demonstrates a continuing trend for owners of larger vessels to choose the Isle of Man. Much of this growth is repeat business from existing owners which have come to appreciate the benefits of registration in the Isle of Man, where significant savings can be made in registration costs for larger vessels.

When coupled with the first rate service from the staff at the Ship Registry, it really is a winning package.

Dick Welsh’s blog - The e-certificates are coming
I recently watched a TV programme about the 80s where an interviewer asked a bearded electronics professor: 'So what exactly is a computer?', and he struggled to explain. I mention this because it is unthinkable today. But change in this area has been so rapid it made me think: 'Why hold on to paper certificates on ships?'

We are all aware of the pitfalls of the paperless ship but working to the lowest common denominator in scenario planning will always tend to hold us back. Sometimes in life you just have to close your eyes and jump.

This is the position we are in with
e-certificates and we need to embrace it as an industry. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) laid the foundations in 2014 when it issued its first guidelines for the use of e-certificates. This was replaced in 2016, when the Facilitation Committee reviewed and refined its guidelines. The current document sets out what Flag States need to include in their e-certificates. All the requirements make perfect sense: validity and consistency with the recognisable format of the certificate; protection from edits, modifications or revisions; a unique tracking number used for verification; and a printable and visible symbol that confirms the source of issuance. Nothing difficult there.

The e-certificates are definitely coming!
China confirms its ‘Favoured Nation Status’
The Isle of Man has welcomed China’s confirmation that the 1996 Maritime Transport agreement between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has been extended to include the Isle of Man. This recent confirmation will help the operators of ships trading with China, as the agreement bestows Most Favoured Nation’ status to Isle of Man registered ships.

We are delighted with this recent confirmation. It sets out clearly the elevated status of the Isle of Man and will significantly reduce the port dues paid by Isle of Man registered ships in Chinese Ports. Confirmation of the Island’s status will be welcome news to the large number of dry bulk operators trading into and out of Chinese Ports. The Isle of Man has been very successful in recent years in attracting some of the world’s largest bulk carriers to its fleet, most of which are managed in Asia and trading with China, and bulk carriers now represent over 35% of our total tonnage. With the reduced port dues as part of the Agreement, this will allow significant cost savings to operators for each Chinese port call.
“A Superyacht in Crisis” - event in London
The Isle of Man Superyacht Forum will be hosting a special presentation in London focusing on crisis management in the Superyacht industry. The event will be held at the Newgate Suite, Mermaid Theatre, Blackfriars in London on Thursday 29th June, 3:00pm - 7:00pm. It will show the strength and depth of the Superyacht sector on the Isle of Man and how the professional services and the Isle of Man Ship Registry work together to provide solutions for the world of yachting.

Focusing around the topic of “A SUPERYACHT IN CRISIS”, the event will bring together some of the industry's leading specialists for an in-depth panel discussion surrounding case histories that focus on crisis management in the Superyacht industry, covering topics such as: liaison with yacht captains, owner's representative, brokers, insurance and legal representatives, flag state, security, crew/guest welfare, and press. Chairman and moderator of the event will be none other than Martin Redmayne, Editor-in-Chief of The Superyacht Group.

On the programme, there will also be briefings on:
  • The latest Isle of Man Superyacht Forum developments and plans;
  • A preview of the new Red Ensign Code – to launch at the Monaco Yacht Show; and
  • An introduction to the new Isle of Man Pleasure Yacht Plus Scheme.

The evening will be topped-off with a Drinks Reception, sponsored by The Shipowners' Club. If you would like to attend the event please contact