The MMO announced last week, in a statement posted on its website, a seven-week extension to the deadline for installation of IVMS terminals by English 10-12m vessels, and also reinstated the Maritime Systems terminal on its approved list.

The suspension, without warning, of the Maritime Systems terminal caused huge concern across swathes of the 10-12m fleet in particular, with deadlines approaching for installation and for grant applications.

The announcement confirms that the original choice of four terminals is available to under-12m owners of English-registered vessels. Welsh vessels were all fitted with free AST terminals earlier in the year, whilst those in Northern Ireland and Scotland are still waiting to hear from their own administrations about plans for terminals.

A statutory instrument mandating the use of IVMS across the entire fleet is expected to be passed in parliament in November this year.

James Glover of Maritime Systems told Fishing News: “It’s obviously good news for everyone concerned, and the seven-week extension clearly makes life easier for everyone involved as well.

“I’m also pleased to be able to say that suddenly, the MMO has become much more responsive and constructive, and seems to have had a genuine change in attitude.

“What has amazed me throughout is the overall patience of the fishing vessel owners, many of whom seem resigned to being mucked around by various authorities. During this hiatus, I have only been asked to provide six refunds to vessel owners.

“The customers I am talking to now just seem to want to have their terminals installed as quickly as possible, regardless of the extension – just, I think, to get it out of the way. We have 600 so far to install, which we’ll manage well within the deadlines, but I would ask for some patience in the next couple of weeks as we work to put this all in place.”

There have been continued and vocal criticisms of the MMO approach to ‘type approval’ in England, but the extension is being broadly welcomed, and is seen as a positive sign that the MMO is finally taking onboard at least some of the concerns registered by English vessel owners.

MMO statement on extension and reapproval

This is an edited version of the statement posted by the MMO last week. The full version can be seen on the information website.

“The MMO can confirm that following further engagement with Maritime Systems Ltd, the suspension of their MS44 IVMS device has been lifted.

“So that the MMO could provide individuals with the reassurance needed to move forward with installation, type approval of the MS44 device was suspended to allow additional supporting information to be gathered. The MMO would like to thank industry for their patience while this review was undertaken.

“During the review, which has now concluded, evidence provided has confirmed that although there have been changes to the mounting and tamperproof seal of the MS44 device, it continues to meet the required specification criteria, including 4G functionality. As a result of the review, the device remains one of the approved IVMS devices available for purchase.

“The MS44 device remains the only device offered by Maritime Systems Ltd that is approved under the IVMS type approval programme.

“The MMO continues to advise individuals to check that any devices being supplied to them are type-approved devices prior to installation.

“The MMO has also extended the deadline for Tranche 1 (vessels 10m to 11.9m in length) device installation by seven weeks to 16 May, 2022 and grant claim window to 17 June, 2022 to align with the Tranche 2 deadline.

“The MMO would also remind individuals to submit the required documentation, including invoice and payment details, within their application for grant funding. This will avoid delays in processing and issuing payment.”

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here


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