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Displaying items by tag: consultation

The British Government has launched its long-anticipated consultation with red diesel users across the UK, including Northern Ireland, following the news of plans to restrict the fuel’s usage from 2022.

This past April the UK’s Cruising Association confirmed Westminster’s intention to legislate for a ban on the use of subsidised dyed or ‘red’ diesel except for agriculture, railway and non-commercial heating.

The move is being touted as a way to tackle climate change by giving businesses an incentive to improve their energy efficiency.

But it would also bring the UK into line with EU regulations, as has Ireland’s own ban on green diesel use for cruising and leisure boating which came into force at the start of this year.

The HMRC consultation, which is open until Thursday 1 October, will seek the input of recreational boaters, among others, to determine whether they and other sectors should be allowed to maintain use of red diesel beyond April 2022.

The UK’s Royal Yachting Association (RYA) insists that it backs efforts to increase energy efficiency in the short-term and to strive towards a zero-carbon future.

However, it also makes the case for retaining red diesel based on “existing supply needs, not colour, tax status or price”.

The RYA says: “Recreational boaters already pay the full rate of duty and VAT when purchasing fuel for the purposes of propulsion.

“We will therefore be looking at the proposals to reform the tax treatment of red diesel closely to see how this might affect the supply of fuel for recreational use for both propulsion and how it will impact supply for domestic usage such as heating.

“It is a fact that the further west and north you travel in the UK, the more likely it is that you will have to rely on waterside outlets that only supply red diesel for commercial purposes, such as to fishing fleets.

“In many places, some remote, the limited quantities of fuel used by recreational craft do not warrant the cost of installing additional equipment to supply white diesel for the recreational boating sector.

“If the Government removes the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022 and white diesel is then made as widely available as red diesel is now, then supply of fuel will not be affected.

“The RYA will be responding to this call for evidence and urges any members with an interest in red diesel to participate in the consultation.”

Published in Cruising
Tagged under

Ports in the UK, once designated as freeports, will have no domestic taxes levied on any goods within them, according to a Multimodal news update.

Taxes will only be levied when a product leaves the freeport, and enters the rest of the UK.

This has the effect of encouraging international business to come to the UK to process or store goods with little to no red tape, bringing jobs and investment in the mainly coastal communities that have been neglected during the UK’s membership of the EU. Ten are set to be designated by the end of the year.

OrderOrder has more to report on the story and on the industry leaders which have already started lobbying for freeport status.

Afloat adds among the freeports proposed is an Atlantic freeport in Wales located on the Milford Haven Waterway. Where (pictured above) is tanker, Thun London (18,650 deadweight) one of five new chemical product tankers for a Swedish lake based shipping group.

Thun London, Afloat also adds yesterday completed a passage from the Welsh waterway (incl. Pembroke Dock) to Dublin Port where the new vessel remains berthed today.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Views of the public, businesses and other interested parties is been sought from Dublin Port Company, on the benefits of investing €108 million in terminal facilities to attract more cruise ships, writes The Irish Times. 

The semi-State company (yesterday) launched a public consultation on the future of cruise tourism, seeking opinions on the appetite in the city for his large-scale tourism business, managing the increase in air emissions from additional cruise ships and the financial challenge of funding the proposed new berths.

Economic consultants Indecon estimate the €108 million spent on new berths at the port’s North Wall Quay extension between 2024 and 2026 could generate a net economic benefit of €211 million based on 2019 values.

The port company, however, has said it cannot finance the project itself given its €1 billion plan to build extra capacity to accommodate the projected growth of cargo up to the year 2040.

The proposed new berths would be of limited alternative use outside of cruise ships such as for generating revenue for cargo operations, the company said.

Click here for more on the story. 

Published in Dublin Port

Plans for a white-water rafting circuit in the heart of Dublin have come back to the fore, as The Irish Times reports.

Earlier this year Dublin City councillors were presented with plans for scheme, which aims to transform George’s Dock in the north inner city into an “elite” white-water canoeing, kayaking and rescue training facility.

Plans stalled before the elections, with former lord mayor Nial Ring branding the White Water Rafting Centre proposals as a “white elephant”.

Changes in the council since this summer’s local elections have now seen the project revived, and it has been opened for public consultation until Thursday 3 October.

But the former lord mayor’s sentiments are echoed by critics who suggest there has been “no consideration” for inner-city youths in the proposals.

Published in Kayaking

Feedback from the public and interested stakeholders is being sought on the Government’s Marine Planning Policy Statement by Friday 9 August.

The statement sets out efforts to bring marine planning “into the mainstream of Government functions” as issues surrounding land use, climate change and more come into greater focus.

Earlier this year, it was reported that more than half of submissions in the public consultation on the National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report concerned the marine environment.

In its own submission, the Irish Marine Federation said barriers to investment and sustainability around the Irish coastline have for “took long stymied growth in the marine sphere”.

The trade body’s chair Paal Janson says its members voices are being heard at regular meetings with Minister of State Damien English in The Custom House, and he looks forward to incorporating feedback from its members on the policy statement consultation draft, which is attached below.

Published in Marine Federation

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) wants to hear recreational boaters’ views on six draft Marine Guidance Notes (MGN) concerning guidance on boat safety over the next few weeks.

RYA cruising manager Stuart Carruthers said: “The MCA has launched this consultation following the Cheeki Rafiki trial where the judge commented that there were aspects not covered by the construction standards for small commercial vessels which should be considered best practice.

“The RYA already provides a considerable amount of safety advice that is readily accessible by the boating public and intends to submit a full response, outlining our views and the concerns of our members.

“Our response will focus on the interests of pleasure boaters with the aim of ensuring that any guidance is clear, realistic and proportionate.”

The six notices cover guidance on keel groundings, rigging inspections, preparedness, stowage of lifesaving gear, vessel resilience and emergency procedures, and maintenance, modifications, damage and repairs.

They are aimed at both small commercial vessels as well as pleasure boats.

The MCA states that it wishes to reinforce to owners, managing agents and skippers of both commercial and pleasure vessels what it considers good practice in terms of safety when going out to sea.

Boaters’ views are sought in the following areas:

  • Whether the draft notes contain guidance that is realistic to carry out in practice
  • What other costs and benefits there might be that haven’t been included in the de minimis assessment
  • If there is the right level of content in each MGN

Full details on the draft MGNS and how to give your views can be found on the UK Government website. A full list of consultation questions is contained in Section 5 of this consultation.

The consultation closes on Thursday 18 July and the RYA encourages all UK boaters to respond.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#ferries - The Isle of Man infrastructure minister reports Manx Radio, has pledged to make the findings of the Steam Packet consultation available to the public - in full.

Ray Harmer recently appeared on the radio station's Perspective programme to discuss government's acquisition of the company, which he says has been ongoing since 2016.

Douglas East MHK Chris Robertshaw has been critical of Treasury and the Department of Infrastructure throughout the process, arguing there's been a lack of transparency.

Mr Harmer says full results of the consultation 'can' be available soon.

To listen to his comments click the link to a podcast here.

Published in Ferry

#InlandWaters - A series of three ‘community information events’ on the next phase of the Ulster Canal Greenway begins this week, with a meeting at Tyholland Community Centre in Co Monaghan from 4pm to 8pm tomorrow (Tuesday 2 October).

This will be followed by events at Middletown Community Parish Hall, Co Armagh on Wednesday 10 October, and Smithborough Community Hall, Co Monaghan on Thursday 18 October, both also from 4pm to 8pm.

Waterways Ireland; Monaghan County Council; Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council; and East Border Region Ltd are working in partnership to deliver Phase 2 of the Ulster Canal Greenway.

Landowners, local communities and the general public are invited to these information events to find out more about the project.​

Published in Inland Waterways

#Watersport - Proposals for a national watersport centre in Dun Laoghaire Harbour have been revived with the launch of a preliminary market consultation.

Afloat.ie previously reported on plans in 2015 for a ‘National Watersports Academy’ on the site of the former Stena HSS terminal.

With that facility at St Michael’s Pier set to reopen later this year as the Harbour Innovation Campus, Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company has scaled back its plans and selected a new location at Traders Wharf further to the west, close to the existing home of the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School.

Per the consultation document, the harbour company “envisions a multi-discipline centre” encompassing sailing, powerboating and related training; diving; kayaking and SUP; rowing and dragon boating; windsurfing, wakeboarding and waterskiing.

“This is an exciting initiative, which could provide a high calibre water sports centre in a truly unique marine environment,” the harbour company adds.

Expressions of interest are being sought from “parties with the relevant expertise, experience and resources” by 5pm on Tuesday 13 March to Gerry Dunne at [email protected].

#Angling - Sean Kyne, Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, gives statutory notice of his intention to make the Wild Salmon and Sea Trout Tagging Scheme (Amendment) Regulations, 2017 to provide for the management of the wild salmon and sea trout fishery by Inland Fisheries Ireland from 1 January 2018.

A copy of the draft regulations is open for public inspection at the offices of the department in Cavan and also at the offices of Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Any person may submit observations and.or objections to the draft regulations at any time during the period of 30 days concluding Thursday 14 December either by e-mail to [email protected] or to the following address:

Inland Fisheries Division
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment,
Elm House,
Earlsvale Road,
Cavan Town
H12 A8H7
Ireland
Tel (01) 6783071 / Lo-call 1890 449900 Ext 3071

Note that rates charged for the use of the 1890 number may vary between service providers.

All submissions received will be published on the department’s website following the conclusion of the consultation period.

Published in Angling
Page 1 of 5

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!

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