Published on 26 June 2017
The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) welcomes the short term concession by the Home Office to immigration rules concerning seafarers joining vessels engaged in the construction and maintenance of offshore wind projects. However, IMCA notes that the recent change by the Home Office of immigration control over such seafarers (to resume after 21 October 2017) is a deviation from decades of common practice and is causing real operational difficulties.
Consequently, IMCA would encourage the Home Office to reach out to industry in order that its new application of the legal framework relating to seafarers can be introduced in a way that is consistent with the operational needs of industry; without risk of damaging key projects that are critical to delivering renewable energy capacity in the UK. The success of such projects are schedule, technology, and safety dependent, and a tapered adoption of the new approach to immigration rules would be welcome in order to give industry certainty and stability in planning future investments.