Getting an exemption from maritime security notifications

How shipping companies are affected by the current rules.

What shipping companies must do

If you are a shipping company that currently holds exemptions from pre-arrival notifications you will need to submit some information before your vessels are allowed to enter EU ports from 1 January 2021. You should contact the relevant authorities in EU countries to understand what information you must provide and how it should be submitted.

Under current EU rules, shipping companies must submit pre-arrival security information before entering an EU port. The security information shipping companies need to submit is referred to as a pre-arrival notification (PAN) and may include the following information:

  • details of the ship
  • last 10 ports visited
  • special or additional security measures taken by the ship
  • crew list
  • passenger list

Companies that run scheduled services between EU countries – such as ferries – can be given an exemption by EU member states from these rules in certain circumstances.

EU member states won’t be able to issue exemptions to vessels operating scheduled services from the UK, irrespective of where the ship is registered or what country’s flag it sails under.

Companies that currently hold these exemptions will need to submit information before their vessels are allowed to enter EU ports. This information may include providing details of the vessel, its crew and its most recent ports of call.

Companies should contact the relevant authorities in EU countries as soon as possible if they have yet to understand what information they need to provide and how it will need to be submitted.

The UK government will continue issuing exemptions for scheduled services from EU countries to UK ports - or between ports in the UK from 1 January 2021.

These exemptions will be issued subject to existing conditions.

Further information on maritime security

For more information, please contact

Include ‘Pre-arrival exemption’ in the email subject line.

Published 31 December 2020