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Port marine safety code

Staff in safety gear


The Port Marine Safety Code is a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety.

We are committed to maintaining a dynamic, robust safety management system, underpinned by a vigorous safety culture covering all aspects of port marine operations.

The code is in addition to other principal documentation. For example, this includes nautical charts, radio signal lists, light lists, tide and tidal stream tables and pilot books.

Code background

Stemming from the “Sea Empress” disaster in the Bristol Channel and culminating in a review of the Pilotage Act 1987, published in 1998; The Port Marine Safety Code was introduced, by the UK Government, for implementation from 1st January 2002.

The Code’s aims are:

  • To introduce a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety.
  • To improve safety for those who use or work in ports, their ships, passengers and cargoes, and the environment.
  • To establish a measure by which harbour authorities can be accountable for the legal powers and duties which they have, to run their harbours safely.

Portsmouth International Port worked closely with the Dockyard Port and was a member of the Port Marine Safety steering group for the whole harbour. This group was instrumental in consultation with all the stakeholders when the code was first being implemented. The group was superseded by the “Dockyard Port Forum”, which was set up primary for consultation with stakeholders and it will continue to meet to discuss port marine safety matters. This further demonstrates ownership and a commitment to policy and involvement of stakeholders.

Safety policy

This safety policy covers the marine operations within the jurisdiction of Portsmouth International Port and Portsmouth Competent Harbour Authority. The following commitments are made:.

  • To manage the assets of the Port safely and efficiently.
  • To discharge the duties and powers given by government in a safe and proper manner.
  • To maintain relevant harbour equipment to agreed industry standards.
  • To recruit and train relevant operational staff to nationally agreed competence levels.
  • To ensure that Port staff are properly trained for emergencies and contingencies.
  • To promote a positive safety culture, fostered by the active leadership of senior management.
  • To motivate and empower staff to work safely.
  • To encourage effective staff involvement and participation in Port safety policies and procedures.
  • To promote competence and effective communication with staff.