Many ports in England and Wales already have powers to issue safety directions to port users, for example to limit vessel speed. But not all ports have such powers and getting Government approval to bring them in has been a complex and expensive process. However a much speedier system has been introduced under the Marine Navigation Act 2013. Ports can now apply for powers of harbour direction which will be granted provided certain conditions are met. See DfT's guidance here.
Ports using the new powers will also be expected to take account of guidance which has been drawn up by an industry panel representing ports and their major users - the supplementary code of conduct drawn up by this National Directions Panel can be downloaded via our website using this link.
Similar arrangements have been brought in for ports in Scotland, and Transport Scotland's guidance is available here.