Category: Guidance

Post Brexit Continuity for overseas UK coded vessel operations

Concerned about Brexit?

The Workboat Association has been working with the UK and key industry stakeholder country Governments to detail what life after Brexit may look like for UK ‘coded’ vessels working outside of UK domestic waters.

The following research document has been created: Post Brexit Overseas Continuity 2

UK Coded Workboats working in Belgium

This notice has been created together with the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate (BMI).

Dated 28.10.2019


The following allowances are accepted for UK coded Workboats operating in Belgian waters;

  • UK Coded Workboats are still permitted to work in Belgian waters, meanwhile the Belgian and UK governments will be in communication to discuss a possible agreement ensuring the continuity of operations following Brexit; separate to an EU deal.
  • Only ‘Classed’ vessels certified to IACS99 (see link) by a recognised RO are permitted to work in Belgian waters.
  • Single person operations are at no times permitted in Belgian waters.
  • The minimum Master CoC accepted in Belgian waters is a Commercially Endorsed Yacht Master Offshore.
  • Vessels planning to operate in Belgian waters should first inform the Belgian Maritime Inspectorate of their intentions prior to arrival via:

As of this date, the carriage of Industrial Personnel is not permitted at any times in Belgian waters – though, the BMI are currently strongly considering to make the necessary regulatory changes to allow for these operations to take place. Completion is aimed for 2020, the Workboat Association is in contact with the BMI and will work with them to keep members informed of any developments regarding this matter.

The Voluntary Towing Endorsement Scheme

The Voluntary Towing Endorsement Scheme


The Workboat Association is recognised as an issuing authority by the MCA for the issuance of Voluntary Towage Endorsements (VTE) based upon specifications outlined in MGN 468.  The purpose of this endorsement is to confirm the seafarer’s specific knowledge, understanding and proficiency needed to safely operate in this area of the maritime industry. The VTE will assist employers and port & harbour authorities conducting risk assessments of towage operations and developing safe systems of work as required by the Port Marine Safety Code.

The VTE scheme was introduced in 2013 (alongside MGN 468). MGN 468 outlines the qualifying conditions required for a seafarer to obtain a VTE and the required competence standard for the various VTEs. The MGN also outlines in section 5 the oversight requirements of a VTE issuing body.

Access to information

Free public access to VTE related information including; MGN 468, VTE TRB, VTE application form, VTE pricing list and the VTE procedure are available on the Workboat Association website


The Candidate is to obtain a VTE Training Record Book (TRB) via download from the Workboat Association website

Once the relevant sections of the TRB have been successfully completed, it is to be countersigned by a witnessing Master or Marine Superintendent.  The Candidate or their Employer is to obtain and complete a VTE application form from the Workboat Association website

The completed application form shall be sent to Upon receipt of an application form the Workboat Association will arrange with the Candidate and their Employer for a suitable Assessor and Assessment date, and raise an invoice for the assessment.

After the Assessment has been completed and the funds have been paid, the Workboat Association will either award a Voluntary Towing Endorsement Certificate or arrange for a re-assessment depending on the assessments result.


Prior to the examination taking place the nominated Assessor will review the Candidates TRB to ensure that they hold the relevant experience and knowledge to sit the exam. If the TRB has not been completed fully, the examination will not be permitted to proceed.

The Candidate is required to provide photo ID to the Assessor prior to the examination commencing, the ID will be witnessed and noted for its validity though no copy of the ID or details besides the type of document supplied shall be recorded.

Award of the Voluntary Towing Endorsement

Once the examination has been completed the finalised assessment report is forwarded by the Assessor for attention of the CEO (In soft copy direct to, in hard copy via the Association administration address) to be officially confirmed. Any received completed assessment reports will be recorded for later reference should there be a dispute or other such event.

The VTE Certificate is issued by the Association once the seafarer has completed the relevant Training Record Book (Inspected and confirmed by the Assessor), successfully completed the relevant onboard oral/practical assessment, the funds for both the application and assessment have been received and any Assessor travel expenses have been settled directly by the candidate with the Assessor.

The certificates will be created and distributed on behalf of the Chief Executive via the Association Administration.

For more information, contact the Workboat Association here

The latest Brexit preparation news (Oct 19)

The UK will leave the EU on 31 October 2019

You are receiving this email from the Department for International Trade (DIT) because we support businesses to trade internationally.

If you are a UK business that imports and/or exports, you will need to act now to prepare for the changes that will affect your trading with Europe and the rest of the world.

Businesses are taking action and by following some simple steps, you can better prepare your business for Brexit.

You should check the latest guidance and steps to:

Further information and key actions for UK businesses in a no-deal Brexit:
Further information and key actions for UK importers of goods in a no-deal Brexit:

The Government is holding events to help your business get ready for Brexit. Sign up to:

Keep up-to-date on Brexit and get tailored guidance:

Sign up for alerts (regular Brexit updates) on subjects including the Article 50 process, trade negotiations, and announcements about changes to trading.

Get detailed information and tailored guidance on Brexit by answering a few questions at If you can’t find the answers to your questions contact the imports and exports helpline.

If your business imports and/or exports, you will need to act now to prepare for the changes that will affect trading with Europe and the rest of the world after Brexit.

By familiarising yourself with the detailed and wide-ranging Brexit guidance available on, your business can better understand how to prepare for Brexit.

Check the latest guidance and steps on:

Get tailored guidance and stay up-to-date:

UK businesses in a no-deal Brexit will need to take the following key actions:

UK importers of goods in a no-deal Brexit will need to take the following key actions:

Register for a Government event to help your business get ready for Brexit:


Are you ready for Brexit?

With current governmental changes taking place, plans for renegotiations still being made and the B-day deadline quickly approaching – it’s hard to say; “Yes, I’m ready for Brexit”.

But, to help you prepare for what may come – here is a list of helpful guidance that may offer some support to your planning come the 1st November 2019.

Data has been collected based on the following assumptions;

  • Your business is in Marine and marine transport
  • You sell goods or provide services in the UK, or
  • Provide services or do business in the EU
  • You may employ EU or EEA citizens

Sorted by topic;

Marine Transport

  1. Connecting Europe Facility energy funding if there’s no Brexit deal
  2. Getting an exemption from maritime security notifications if there’s no Brexit deal
  3. Recognition of seafarer certificates of competency if there’s no Brexit deal
  4. Sanctions policy if there’s no Brexit deal
  5. UK sanctions regimes if there’s no Brexit deal
  6. Workplace rights if there’s no Brexit deal

Organisation activity

  1. Driving in the EU after Brexit: driving licence exchange
  2. Driving in the EU after Brexit: international driving permits
  3. Geo-blocking of online content if there’s no Brexit deal
  4. Mobile roaming after Brexit
  5. Operating in the EU after Brexit
  6. Placing manufactured goods on the UK market if there’s no Brexit deal
  7. Regulations and standards after Brexit
  8. Structuring your business if there’s no Brexit deal
  9. Travelling in the Common Travel Area if there’s no Brexit deal

Employing EU citizens

  1. EU Settlement Scheme employer toolkit: Welsh materials
  2. EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit
  3. Employing EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members after Brexit
  4. Healthcare for EU and EFTA citizens visiting the UK
  5. Healthcare for EU and EFTA nationals living in the UK
  6. Staying in the UK for longer than 3 months if there’s no Brexit deal

All businesses

  1. Social security contributions for UK and EU workers in a no-deal Brexit
Guidance has been provided via the Gov.UK website, link to the DIT’s Brexit preparation tool can be found here