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Fishermen Urged to Obtain IMO Numbers Before Brexit

The IMO Ship Identification Number Scheme is an integral part of the shipping sector.  The scheme was introduced to improve maritime safety and security and to reduce maritime fraud.  Over the years the scheme has been extended to apply to more ships and it now applies to ships of 100 gross tons and above, including fishing vessels of a certain construction.  The scheme is also being extended to include inboard fishing vessels of less than 100 gross tons that met certain other requirements.

All fishing vessel owners are being advised to register with the International Maritime Organisation to obtain an IMO number in preparation for Brexit if they have not already done so.  Under contingency proposals, UK boats will be required to be registered with the International Maritime Organisation to permit the grant of access to EU waters in certain circumstances after Brexit.  Although future access to fish in EU and other coastal waters is yet to be determined, UK fishing vessel owners who wish to prepare for all Brexit scenarios should apply for an IMO number now.

Registration is free and is via application form available from the IMO.  Once the IMO number has been received, fishing vessel owners should ensure that they inform the relevant MMO department and update the appropriate Fisheries Administration.

If you have any queries with regard to the application process or are unsure whether your vessel already has an IMO number, please do not hesitate to contact Graham Jones or Kirstin Ejsmont, call 01224 632464.

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