UK MOD Updates Maritime Safety Regulations

January 2, 2019 – These Ministry of Defence (MOD) maritime regulations are issued by the Defence Maritime Regulator and form the basis of MOD’s regulatory framework for MOD shipping, defense diving and MOD port operations. They should be read by personnel, people and organizations conducting maritime activity on behalf of the MOD.

The goal of the regulations is to ensure that the management of safety and environmental protection of defense maritime activities can achieve outcomes at least as good as those governed by UK and international legislation.

These regulations are in 2 parts: an introduction and a document containing the regulations themselves, and readers are advised to read both parts in order to understand the regulatory model.

There is an associated glossary and Defence Code of Practice on the Application of the Regulations, and these may be requested from the Defence Maritime Regulator. Regular reviews will be conducted and the individual regulations will be updated as required.

The Maritime Regulatory Framework can be traced from legislative changes as a consequence of 3 significant disasters:

  • Herald of Free Enterprise
  • Piper Alpha
  • Clapham rail crash

These led to the Chambers and Carver reports, and for the maritime areas of defense triggered the first iteration of Maritime Regulation, adhering to the international baseline of UNCLOS through IMO (with MARPOL), SOLAS and the ILO.

UK Acts are:

  • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
  • Merchant Shipping Act 1995
  • Diving at Work Regulations1997
  • Dockyard Ports Regulation Act 1865

These Defence Maritime Regulations for Health Safety and Environmental Protection regulations shall become effective from the 1st January 2019.