Conference marks 30 years of British ship registers

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The conference which oversees and upholds maritime safety standards across the 13 British Shipping Registers marks its 30th anniversary this year.

Red Ensign Group members from across the world will be meeting to discuss maritime matters of interest at the event being hosted this year by the Bailiwick of Guernsey.

The REG conference began in 1988 as an opportunity for the registrars of the REG to get together to share ideas, harmonise processes and discuss ways forward.

Since then it’s been held every year at different locations, reflecting the geography of the Red Ensign Group which consists of the UK, the Crown Dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man and Overseas Territories of Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, St Helena, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The event has also grown to include business strategy, policy and safety matters. It opened formally yesterday morning (12th June) at 9am with the ringing of the REG bell.

Sir Alan Massey of the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency who is co-chairing the conference said: “This year is pretty special for a number of reasons. The REG conference is an annual milestone on the road to continuously improving the safety of British shipping and marking 30 years of that work is a reminder of just how far we have come.

“The conference works because the debates are honest, we trust and respect each other and the outcomes are binding on all of us. It matters because that kind of honesty and trust only exists where all family members can get around the same table and have an equal voice and vote. Only the REG conference can make that happen.

“It’s extra special this year because every single REG member is going to represented. We don’t believe this has happened before in the history of the REG conference.”

Chad Murray, Co-chair on behalf of the hosts Guernsey, said: “It’s a real honour for us to host all our friends from across the Red Ensign Group here. Every member of the group makes a valuable contribution to the whole conference and the work of the REG in general. To be asked to host such an important event in REG life is good for us as a shipping register and for Guernsey as a whole.”

Dick Welsh, Director of the Isle of Man Ship Registry, said: “The Red Ensign Group meets formally once a year at Conference where we agree common goals and standards. Relationships are established and lifelong friendships are forged. So when we have a problem or an issue or an idea, we can pick up the phone and talk to each other. That’s the real strength of the whole Red Ensign Group for me.”

Greg Evans Global Director, Safety and Compliance for the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, said: “At conference we make strategic decisions and align policy through innovative thinking to promote the quality of British Shipping through the Red Ensign Group.”

Formal proceedings for the Red Ensign Group Conference run from 12th June to 15th June.