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Port Marine Safety Code

Safety & Security

The Port Marine Safety Code

The Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) is a national standard, in the UK, for port safety with the stated aim:

"To improve safety for those who use or work in ports, their ships, passengers and cargoes, and the environment".

There is no legal obligation for Guernsey Ports to adopt the PMSC. However, as the code is now a recognised industry standard and best practice in the UK it is natural progression for Guernsey Ports to adopt the principles of the PMSC in order to provide the safest service to Harbour users and stakeholders. 

General Principles

The standards are based on the following general principles established in the code:

  1. The harbour authority are accountable for their duties and powers and should measure themselves against nationally agreed standards
  2. Powers, policies and procedures should be based on formal assessment of hazards and risks, and harbour authorities should have formal safety management systems
  3. The aim of a safety management system is to ensure that all risks are tolerable and as low as reasonably practicable
  4. Safety management systems depend upon competence standards applied to all parties involved - these have been developed in parallel to the code
  5. Harbour Authorities should monitor and adopt good practice. 'A Guide to Good Practice' has been developed in parallel with the code.pdf icon MCA PMSC - A Guide to Good Practice [7Mb]


The code requires that Guernsey Ports formally identify and designate who is accountable for compliance with the code and ensuring marine safety.

The Guernsey Ports Board, as the Duty Holder responsible for compliance with the code, has delegated accountability for marine safety to its Harbour Master.

The Duty Holder will retain strategic oversight and direction of all aspects of the harbour operation and ensures that its powers are discharged but not exceeded.

The Harbour Master will retain day to day management of safety and security of the port, the control of shipping, and the exercise of legal powers.

To provide independent assurance directly to the duty holder that the marine safety management system is working effectively, Guernsey Ports has appointed, in accordance with the code, a Designated Person.

The Designated Person's responsibility is to determine, through assessment and audit, the effectiveness of the marine safety management system in ensuring compliance with the Code.

pdf icon Marine Safety Plan 23-26 - Jan 24 Update [183kb] 

pdf icon Guernsey Harbours Enforcement Policy [158kb]