The Authority’s Marine Safety Policy and its Safety Management System are based on compliance with all of the concepts and standards of the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) and the Guide to Good Practice.

Internal audits are carried out regularly to monitor and ensure compliance with the PMSC. In addition, independent external experts periodically carry out detailed external audits; both audits result in detailed reports to the Board.

The Authority’s statutory duties encompass:

  • The regulation of traffic and the safety of navigation within harbour limits.
  • The conservancy of the Haven and its seaward approaches.
  • The protection of the environment within the harbour and adjacent estuaries.
  • Ensuring so far as is reasonably practicable the safety at work of its employees and other people who may be affected by its activities.

Within its Marine Safety Policy, and in order to deliver on these duties, the Authority facilitates the safe arrival, departure and internal navigation of all reporting vessels using the Haven, carrying out its functions with a particular focus on any environmental impact.

Harwich Haven Authority has a statutory duty, as well as responsibility under the PMSC, to conserve, protect, regulate, maintain and improve the harbour.

To achieve these aims, the Authority:

  • Undertakes hydrographic surveys to ensure safe and efficient navigation;
  • Provides up-to-date, accurate hydrographic and environmental information and accurate tidal and meteorological data;
  • Ensures the provision of necessary aids to navigation within its area of jurisdiction;
  • Ensures that a risk assessment is carried out on any wreck or other obstruction that could pose a hazard to navigation;
  • Ensures compliance with the Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Coordination Convention, involving and liaising with appropriate pollution groups;
  • Maintains and operates craft to support and deliver its conservancy responsibilities;
  • Manages the allocation of moorings, including those for the leisure community, and maintains close liaison with local leisure craft groups;
  • Maintains harbour craft and VTS equipment to agreed industry standards;
  • Adopts modern, cost-effective methods of dredging and surveying;
  • Trains its operational staff to nationally agreed competence levels; and
  • Ensures that staff are properly trained in emergency and contingency procedures.