Newhaven Port & Properties Ltd (NPP), as the Statutory Harbour Authority for the Port of Newhaven, commits to complying with the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) and observing the guidance contained in the accompanying Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations (GTGP).

The NPP Marine Safety Management System (MSMS) exists to fulfil this commitment and will be a living document, continuously reviewed and updated to ensure best practice. The Navigational Risk Assessments are part of the MSMS and will be regularly reviewed, including following lessons learned from incidents and near-misses.

The NPP MSMS defines the aims, roles, duties, policies, procedures, objectives and monitoring requirements as required by the PMSC and commits NPP to undertake and regulate marine operations in a way that safeguards the harbour, its users, the public and the environment.

NPP make a commitment to not allow commercial pressures to compromise marine and navigation safety, the safe provision of its services and the efficient discharge of its duties. It commits to ensuring that any marine service it provides will be done so in an efficient manner using trained, qualified and competent Officers.

NPP commit to effectively regulating vessels within the harbour and its approaches and will encourage incident and near-miss reporting for the benefit of continual improvement of the MSMS. They also commit to ensuring that the powers and resources are available for the enforcement of legislation and prosecution of offenders.

The Harbour Master, the Port Manager and the Designated Person will regularly keep the Managing Director, representing The Board of Directors (The Duty Holder), assured of the continuing compliance with the PMSC. 

The Designated Person will conduct regular audits of the MSMS and will report to the Duty Holder. His reports, together with the Harbour Masters annual report will assist with the compilation of the Action Plan for the forthcoming year.

The Port Management Team will hold an annual Port Marine Operations Management meeting attended by the Managing Director, Port Manager, Harbour Master, Port Engineer, and SHEST Officer, whereby the reports, Safety Policy, Safety Plan and Action Plan will be discussed and implemented. 

The MSMS annual report and MSMS action plan will together form the annual review of the MSMS and the Safety Plan required by the PMSC. The Duty Holder will make an annual statement of compliance with the PMSC on the Port website and in the Sussex Express Newspaper.

An external audit of the MSMS and its compliance with the PMSC will be carried out by reputable specialist consultants at intervals of two years. The report received from the external auditor will be fed into the MSMS report to The Duty Holder and any recommendations approved to be implemented will be included in the MSMS Action Plan. 

The Duty Holder will make a statement of compliance with the PMSC to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) on a three-yearly basis.

An independent Navigational Risk Assessment review will be conducted every 5 years.

The Duty Holder will ensure that NPP discharges its responsibilities to: 

  • Undertake and regulate marine operations in a way that safeguards the harbour, its users, the public and the environment.
  • Encourage commercial activities but without undermining the safe provision of services and the efficient discharge of NPP’s duties.
  • Take reasonable care, so long as the harbour is open for public use, that all who may choose to navigate in it may do so without danger to their lives or property.
  • Conserve and promote the safe use of the harbour and prevent loss or injury caused by the Authority’s negligence.
  • Have regard to efficiency, economy and safety of operation as respects the services and facilities provided.
  • Take such action that is necessary or desirable for the maintenance, operation, improvement or conservancy of the harbour.
  • Ensure enough resources are available to discharge their marine safety obligations and set the level of port dues accordingly. 
  • Regularly review all applicable legislation to ensure it remains fit for purpose.

NPP will ensure there is proper and safe control of ship movements by regulating the safe arrival, departure and movement within the harbour of all vessels, and by: 

  • Conducting risk assessments of all marine activities and either eliminate navigational and other hazards or establish suitable control measures to reduce the risk to as low as reasonably practicable. 
  • Reviewing the risk assessments annually or following an incident or change in practice.
  • Ensuring staff are provided with suitable training to ensure their competence.
  • Ensuring staff carry out procedures correctly. Regulating the activities of harbour users (water & land side) to maintain a safe port for all users.
  • Protecting the general public from dangers arising from marine activities.
  • Establishing a Port Control System providing information to harbour users.
  • Disseminating information to port users by Local Notices to Mariners, Port User Group meetings and information provided on the website.
  • Monitoring the effectiveness of plans and procedures and recording information.
  • Investigating the circumstances of vessels failing to comply with procedures.
  • Taking appropriate action to deal with areas of non-compliance.
  • Establishing a policy on enforcement and prosecution procedures. 
  • Providing procedures for reporting of deficiencies on visiting vessels. 
  • Ensuring Port Authority vessels meet statutory requirements and appropriate codes.
  • Having in place a system for Incident reporting and investigation so as to determine the cause to prevent recurrence and to determine if an offence has been committed. 
  • Taking note of, assessing and implementing relevant recommendations made by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).
  • Ensuring that commercial workboats are properly manned and certificated.
  • Carrying out all its functions with special regard to the environment.


NPP will provide a Pilotage service to ensure the safety and protection of all harbour users, the infrastructure and the environment. They will control and regulate it by: 

  • Keeping the need for pilotage under constant review by consultation and assessment.
  • Issuing Pilotage Directions to establish compulsory pilotage and defining the Pilotage District.
  • Ensuring that the Pilots are employed to provide a service under a proper contract.
  • Setting the standards for and only using suitably trained and authorised Pilots.
  • Enabling pilotage to be fully integrated with other port safety services.
  • Setting the standards for training and issuing of pilot exemption certificates (PEC’s).
  • Periodically assessing the competence of Pilots and PEC holders.
  • Having in place a system for Incident reporting and investigation so as to determine the cause to prevent recurrence and to determine if an offence has been committed. 
  • Establishing procedures for suspension and revocation of certificates.
  • Establishing procedures for the resolving of disputes.
  • Ensuring that pilot vessels meet statutory requirements and appropriate codes.
  • Ensuring that Marine employees are adequately trained and qualified and records kept.
  • Ensuring the use and recording of passage planning and master/pilot information exchange.
  • Establishing a Pilotage Committee involving major stakeholders and holding meetings. 
  • Identifying by risk assessment any circumstances when two pilots would be needed to conduct the navigation of a vessel safely. 
  • Requesting and recording a Master’s declaration that the Pilot Ladder complies with SOLAS requirements and having a policy in place if it does not.
  • Arranging for the provision of tug services.
  • Carrying out all its functions with special regard to the environment.


NPP has a duty to conserve the harbour so that it is a safe port for vessels to use, by: 

  • Ensuring regular hydrographic surveys are carried out.
  • Arranging regular external audits of the in-house hydrographic survey team.
  • Ensuring adequate resources are available for continuing training of surveyors.
  • Finding and marking the best navigable channel in the harbour.
  • Ensuring Harbour Authority vessels meet statutory requirements and appropriate codes. 
  • Providing users with up to date information on depths, channels and prevailing conditions.
  • Providing the UKHO with information under a form of agreement.
  • Acting as the Local Lighthouse Authority on behalf of the General Lighthouse Authority.
  • Ensuring navigational aids are suitable for the task, correctly placed, regularly inspected and maintained in good working order. Continually assess the requirement for additional aids.
  • Reporting defects of navigational aids to harbour users, Coastguard and the GLA.
  • Establishing a position of safe anchorage.
  • Keeping the Harbour approaches clear of obstructions.
  • Ensuring any wreck, obstruction or other hazard to shipping is marked and/or removed and/or warnings promulgated.
  • Ensuring that dredging is conducted by a reputable company and the terms and conditions of the dredging/disposal licence are strictly adhered to.
  • Assessing and licensing any works within or near the harbour, liable to interfere with the safety of navigation or the environment.
  • Reviewing procedures in place if harbour operations, facilities or traffic type/volume change.
  • Carrying out all its functions with special regard to the environment.


NPP will ensure that the following Plans are produced, practiced and regularly reviewed and updated as required and to comply with relevant legislation:  

  • Port Fire Risk Assessments as required by HASAW Act 1974, MHSAW Regs 1999, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and the PMSC.
  • Port Emergency Plan as required by the MS (Dangerous Goods in Harbour Areas) Regs 2016, the HSE Safety in Docks ACOP L148, the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, and the PMSC.
  • Oil Spill Contingency Plan as required by the MS (Oil Pollution, Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Convention) Regs 1998 and PMSC.
  • Waste Management Plan as required by MS (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 2003 and the Amendment Regulations of 2009 and 2016. 
  • Port Security Plan as required by The Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990, the International Ship and Port (Security) Facility Regs 2004 and the Port Security Authority Regs 2009. 
  • Safety Policy and Safety Plan for Marine Operations as required by the PMSC.

NPP is a Category 2 Responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (CCA) and will co-operate with and share relevant information with all Category 1 Responders (emergency services and local authorities) and other category 2 responders. The Harbour Master, Deputy Harbour Master and Port Security Officer will be members of the Local Resilience Forum and attend meetings and working groups as necessary.  

NPP will collect the information required from vessels under the MS (Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Reporting Requirements) Regs.2004/2011 and will forward this information to the MCA using the CERS3 system. 

NPP will, under the MS (Port State Control) Regulations 2011, report to the MCA any vessel that has apparent anomalies which may prejudice the safety of the ship or which poses an unreasonable threat of harm to the marine environment. NPP will encourage its authorised Pilots to report such anomalies to them as required by these regulations.

Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) & NPP

The PMSC sets out the national standard for every aspect of port marine safety with the aim of enhancing safety for everyone who uses or works in the Port marine environment. It is endorsed by the UK Government and representatives from across the maritime sector, and, while the code is not mandatory, these bodies have a very strong expectation that all harbour authorities will comply with it. 

The PMSC is applicable both to statutory harbour authorities and to other marine facilities which may not have statutory powers or duties. It is strongly recommended that organisations or facilities which are not a statutory harbour authority, such as berths, terminals and Marina’s, seek a proportionate compliance with the Code, by adopting a formal risk assessment process and the implementation of a marine safety management system (MSMS) which complies with the Code. 

The PMSC has been developed to improve safety in the port marine environment and to enable organisations to manage their marine operations to nationally agreed standards. It provides a measure by which organisations can be accountable for discharging their legal powers and duties to run harbours or facilities safely and effectively. It also provides a standard against which the policies, procedures and performance of organisations can be measured. The Code describes the role of the board members, officers and key personnel in relation to safety of navigation and summarises the main statutory duties and powers of harbour authorities. The PMSC is designed to reduce the risk of incidents occurring within the port marine environment and to clarify the responsibilities of organisations within its scope.   

In conjunction with the PMSC, the Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations (The Guide) underpins the ethos of the Code by providing guidance and examples to assist organisations in promoting and executing safe, efficient and accountable port marine operations based on industry best practice. 

The PMSC is primarily intended for the “Duty Holder”. This is the Board of Directors, who are both individually and collectively accountable for marine safety and should therefore familiarise themselves with the Code and review its implications for their marine operations. It is strongly advised that the Duty Holder and all Officers involved in marine safety also consider the advice on how to comply with the Code provided in the Guide to Good Practice, and also review recommendations and the common lessons learnt from major incidents as published by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB). 

The PMSC refers to some of the existing legal duties and powers that affect organisations in relation to marine safety, but it does not in itself create any new legal duties. There are however several measures which, although not mandatory, are key to the successful implementation of the Code. In order to comply with the Code, the following 10 items must be considered by the Duty Holder. 

The PMSC “Ten Commandments”. 

i). Duty Holder (DH). Formally identify and designate the DH, whose members are individually and collectively accountable for compliance with the PMSC and for their performance in ensuring safe marine operations in the harbour and its approaches. 

ii). Designated Person (DP). A DP must be appointed to provide independent assurance about the operation of the MSMS. The DP must have direct access to the DH. 

iii). Legislation. The DH must review and be aware of their existing powers based on local and national legislation; seeking additional powers if required in order to promote safe navigation. 

iv). Duties and Powers. Comply with the duties and powers under existing legislation, as appropriate. 

v). Risk Assessment. Ensure all marine risks are formally assessed and are eliminated or as low as reasonably practicable in accordance with good practice. 

vi). MSMS. Operate an effective MSMS which has been developed after consultation, is based on formal risk assessment, and refers to an appropriate approach to incident investigation. 

vii). Review and Audit. Monitor, review and audit the risk assessment and MSMS on a regular basis – the independent DP has a key role in providing assurance for the DH. 

viii). Competence. Use competent people (i.e. trained, qualified and experienced) in positions of responsibility for managing marine and navigational safety. 

ix). Plan. Publish a safety plan showing how the standard in the Code will be met and a report assessing the performance against the plan at least every 3 years. 

x). Aids to Navigation. Comply with directions from the General Lighthouse Authority and supply information & returns as required.




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