Ports

Transport, Local Government and the Regions written question – answered on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell Labour, Great Grimsby

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment he has made of the effect the proposed Directive on Market Access to Port Services would have upon the monopoly that UK port owners hold upon pilotage in their ports.

Photo of Mr David Jamieson Mr David Jamieson Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions

Our aim in relation to pilotage provisions in the proposed Directive is to preserve the integrated approach to safety management promoted by the Port Marine Safety Code. There is nothing in the proposed text that is inconsistent with the Code or the present regulatory functions of competent harbour authorities under the Pilotage Act 1987.

Under the Commission's proposals these authorities may in certain circumstances be required to include a tendering process in deciding what contractual arrangements are appropriate for the provision of the pilotage service. Pilots' organisations have told us that they oppose introducing the principle of competition into pilotage, and they support the European Parliament's proposal to exclude pilotage from the Directive.

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