Categories: Business, UK Harbour Master AssociationPublished On: 03.12.2020514 words2.6 min read


The Harbour Masters’ Association of the United Kingdom, The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (UKHMA) was formed in May 1993 at an inaugural meeting held at the University of Wales in Cardiff.
The meeting, which was an extension to a series of technical briefings held by the University for the specific benefit of harbour masters, attracted 87 Founder Members from throughout the British Isles.
The organisation is a unique professional body consisting of harbour masters, port marine operations officers, harbour managers, commercial bodies that serve the port sector, and other appropriate personnel and organisations.
Geographically, the Association consists of seven regional constituencies that cover all mainland and island ports in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The Constitution of the Association precludes it from acting as a trade union or representing Members in employment disputes.
Who is eligible to join?
The principal harbour master, or any person who in the normal course of their duties is expected to deputise for the principal harbour master, of any statutory port or harbour in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man is eligible to become a Full Member of the UKHMA.
There is provision also for other senior port marine officers, and any person interested in upholding the objectives of the Association, to become Associate or Affiliate Members. At the end of 2019, there were approximately 450 Members of the UKHMA.
Commercial Membership is also invited from companies and other organisations whose business or profession includes the supply of certain goods, services and/or technical information that relate directly to harbour masters’ duties or needs.
Member Profile
Membership consists of harbour masters from ports large and small, both publicly and privately owned and represents a unique source of up-to-date, hands-on experience in a range of port and maritime operations.
Widely acknowledged as a competent partner in the shipping and port industry throughout the UK, the Association’s wealth of experience is sought after and highly appreciated in many inter-industry forums, working groups and consultations, including those initiated by the MCA, DfT, MAIB, regional governmental bodies, etc.
The objectives of the Association are:

  • to exercise and promote the safe and efficient conduct of marine operations in ports, in accordance with the Port Marine Safety Code and the Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations (or any replacement thereof);
  • to promote the interests and professional competence of Harbour Masters in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies;
  • to encourage and facilitate the qualification, certification and continuing professional development of Harbour Masters in the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies;
  • to represent by way of professional advice and support the views of Harbour Masters to the UK Government and devolved administrations, to organisations representative of port authorities, and to other persons within the United Kingdom and Crown Dependencies and elsewhere concerned with marine operations, both within and near port waters;
  • to share experiences, knowledge, information and best practice among Harbour Masters;
  • to affiliate to such other bodies as the Council may think appropriate.