HC Deb 17 June 2003 vol 407 c109W
Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his answer of 9 June,Official Report, column 593W, on the equal treatment and non-discrimination directive, what the results of the Regulatory Impact Analysis was; and if he will make a statement on how the EU Directive on equal treatment and non-discrimination will affect the recruitment of foreign seafarers and the UK Ship Register. [119652]

Mr. Jamieson

The Draft Race Relations Act 1976 (Seamen Recruited Abroad) Order 2003 forms part of the implementation of the EC Article 13 Race Directive. A Regulatory ImpactAssessment was carried out. A total repeal of Section 9 of the Race Relations Act1976 was estimated to result in additional, annual wage costs to employers of around £40.5 million. Industry estimates, supported by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, indicated that up to 400 ships would leave the UK flag if a total repeal of Section 9 were to proceed. To revise Section 9 of the RRA 1976 was estimated to present the shipping industry with negligible additional costs and to protect the substantial increases in the UK flagged fleet that we have secured in recent years.

The proposals go beyond the requirements of the Directive: the amendment will prohibit discrimination on the basis of colour and national origins as well as on the basis of racial and ethnic origins as required by the Directive. This will provide more protection under the Race Relations Act 1976 to foreign seafarers recruited abroad to serve on UK flagged ships that will enter UK territorial waters.

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