Your PCA membership updates and news May 2018
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No Red Diesel penalties in Belgium

This story is from the Cruising Association.

Following the sustained efforts of the Cruising Association, including meeting the Belgian Ambassador and lobbying via the CA’s Honorary Local Representatives in addition to its other contacts in Belgium, the Belgian Finance Office has confirmed to the CA that there will now be no fines or penalties for UK vessels visiting Belgium which have UK marine red diesel in their tanks.

The notice from the Finance Office read: “The policy of tolerance regarding Red Diesel in UK flagged yachts visiting Belgium will be maintained until further notice. Any change to this policy will be communicated in due time. This removes any remaining uncertainty for the members, and other yachtsmen and women, who wish to make the crossing from the east coast or channel ports to Belgium. This status quo to the agreement will not change, without warning, on behalf of the boating community in the UK.”

However, 100 per cent fuel duty must still be paid on all Red Diesel which is purchased before a trip to Belgium. The full advice details are contained in the note from the CA’s Regulations and Technical Services Group which can be seen at

The CA is grateful to the Belgian authorities for confirming the policy, and is encouraging its members to visit Belgium again this summer after many stayed away last year.


The loss of four lives aboard the Yacht  Cheeki Rafiki in May 2014
Last month I reported about the recent trial concerning the loss of four lives aboard a yacht Cheeki Rafiki. 

The report is below this paragraph,  Mr Innes from Southampton appeared before Winchester Crown Court on Friday 11th May for sentencing in relation to the earlier findings of guilt from June 2017 trial. Mr Innes and Stormforce Coaching had earlier been found guilty of Section 100 Merchant Shipping Act, which is the owner being liable for unsafe operation of ship-

Mr Innes was given a 15-month jail term, suspended for two years.

Stormforce Coaching Limited – which has since been put into liquidation – was fined £50,000.

Sentencing Innes, Mr Justice Nigel Teare told him that “cost-cutting” had led his actions.

He added: “The failure to have the yacht surveyed was a serious act of negligence.”

“This was a small yacht about to cross the Atlantic alone having not been independently examined for over three years. Those circumstances give rise to a risk of death.”

Mr Justice Teare called on the maritime regulatory authorities to tighten the rules governing the inspection of yachts.
Katy Ware, a director of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), said she had “personally pledged to the families” that rules would change as a result of this case

-The PCA had a representative monitoring this trial over recent months following the previous trial last  year where the jury could not reach a verdict on the manslaughter charges. At the first trail the managing agent of the yacht was found guilty of 2 offences under the Shipping Act.
The  trial against Douglas Innes the director of Stormforce Coaching as it was before going into receivership has been ongoing since March this year at Winchester Crown Court . Mr Innes was charged with four counts of manslaughter by gross negligence .
On 25th April 2018 the jury returned not guilty verdicts on 4 manslaughter by gross negligence. The Jury had been out for 5 full days before the verdict was given.

Issues were raised during the second trial about the legislation around MGN280. 

After the verdicts Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) chief executive Sir Alan Massey warned of the dangers of failing to maintain vessel safety, said the organisation will have to 'look hard' at its 'regulatory environment' and expressed sympathy for the bereaved relatives.

He said the MCA had carried out 'a thorough and extensive' three year investigation into the circumstances of the loss of the Cheeki Rafiki.

He described it as 'a horrific and tragic incident' which still has a 'devastating' impact on their families.

Sir Alan said: 'The sea can be an extremely hostile place. You must make sure your vessel is safe in strict accordance with its certification.

'You must make sure it is properly maintained and fit to be at sea - you could otherwise find yourself facing serious charges in court.'

In response to the jury's concerns about MGN280, the guidance note which governs the basic construction and operation of certain small vessels, he said: 'They have made some recommendations. We are going to follow those up. Of course, if we need to review or even amend the terms of that guidance notice, we will.'

He added the MCA now needs to 'look and ask ourselves 'is there enough legal force in these regulations as they stand to be able to follow through cases of non-compliance?'


After the AGM we are in the process of rebuilding a new website, One way to ensure you are listed as it is launched is to renew your membership.  Graeme Sign has been sending our the annual membership renewals . Please try and finalise these payments as soon as possible to free up Graeme's time and to allow us to relaunch the new website.



Just in case you all have been so busy that you have missed this latest news from British Marine concerning the cancelling of 2019 London Boat Show.
Read news release here --

Facebook and Twitter

Hopefully everyone is aware we run a Facebook and Twitter account for the PCA.

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Twitter @PCA_Charters

Please follow us, and also if you are on Twitter and Facebook we can share and retweet your great posts, If you don't post we cant advertise you for free!!!


The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) comes into effect from 25 May 2018. 
This is data protection regulation that the PCA needs to be thoroughly prepared for. Our data handling procedures have been reviewed and will continue to be monitored. 

Having completed a full assessment and completed an on line check with ICO we are told
"You are under no requirement to register"
"Some not-for-profit organisations are exempt and based on the information you have provided you do not have to register with the ICO.
However, it is important that your organisation adheres to the principles of the Data Protection Act (DPA) and understands best practice for managing information. To help ensure you are complying with the DPA, we have produced a range of training materials including practical toolkits, training videos and more."

This advice is taken as our association is a not for profit association but privacy of members information is taken very seriously.  We are constantly reviewing what we hold and request. We will have a privacy update and a GDPR document in the members section shortly which will assist the PCA to remain compliant.
We have put together a GDPR policy, privacy and cookie policy for the PCA. Presently as you log onto our website the cookie policy is displayed for people to agree before continuing.  As the website is rebuilt with our new SEO managers we will add the new policies.

You may need to act now and have started the process before the Act actually goes live. It surrounds PERSONAL DATA and SENSITIVE PERSONAL DATA. It is very unlikely that any of us don't have such data. Even your accident book is likely to be seen as Sensitive personal Data and certainly contact information will be personal data.  CCTV? Do you take images of your clients for social media? You will need their permission to use this now, Don't just assume through your privacy notices, it needs to be a positive action by them to agree to it.

If you have a accident book ( we hope we all have~) this is classed as "sensitive personal information " and therefore requires a high degree of security. ie, Where do you keep the accident book? Is it stored securely?

You may need to register with

This website is the place to go to follow the basics 12 steps you need to take.

We would like to thank you for your continued support of the PCA and being part of our great collective of hard-working charter businesses.

As you may well know from your own business, there are data protection law changes coming in under the new GDPR rules which have an impact on many of us.

The PCA has always been an organisation led by its members, for its members. That involves us talking to each other,  We want to make sure you don't miss out on resources/updates which can help and support you in your own business.

We've always been very protective of your data, and there's no need for you to do anything right now. We've taken this opportunity to review everything we send you to ensure that it is relevant to your membership. Although as you can see from the above information the PCA being a non-profit organisation run for members does not have to register with the information Commissioners office but we will follow their guidelines relating to personal data and will constantly review it.



The PCA fully support this register of coded charter vessels and is part of your membership

Dont forget to keep using social media, it's free and we use it to promote your business too
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