The UK's Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that they will transpose SOLAS Chapter VIII into UK Law in the autumn of 2022.
Following on from a consultation document in August 2021, the UK MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) has confirmed that the proposed Merchant Shipping (Nuclear Ships) Regulations will become law in the UK later this year.
These rules will bring onto the statute book the ‘Nuclear Code’ for merchant ships which forms Chapter VIII of the Annex to the International Convention of Safety of Life at Sea, 1974 (‘SOLAS’).
In an update issued earlier this month, the government confirmed that it “does not intend to significantly amend the prepared draft legislation which has been drafted to transpose SOLAS Chapter VIII into UK law. It is intended to make the Regulations and bring them into force by the autumn of this year. The Marine Guidance Note will be finalised and published at that time.”
Acknowledging that collaboration with other nations who share a similar nuclear and maritime heritage to the UK will be important, the government said; “Implementing the SOLAS Chapter VIII requirements and building strong ties with others, including the US, will increase the likelihood of UK flagged nuclear powered ships and reinforce the broader maritime safety regime.”
It was further noted that; “Potential business opportunities for growth into new business areas creating UK jobs are foreseen, while enhancing the UK’s reputation in terms of regulation and safety and providing clarity needed within the maritime industry.”2
You can read the whole summary of responses and the consultation outcome here;https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/consultation-on-the-draft-merchant-shipping-nuclear-ships-regulations-2021/outcome/summary-of-responses-on-the-consultation-on-the-draft-merchant-shipping-nuclear-ships-regulations#next-steps