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Confounded Yachtsmen! (0ne for Bill C before he vanishes!)

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We are registering a new British Ship (built in Japan) under the new Tonnage Tax scheme. The MCA are on side and helpful. The people who are not are the Radio Licensing Authority, who are bureaucrats and jobsworths of the deepest dye. The station licence costs twenty quid, but the ship cannot sail without it. You have to apply in writing allowing five clear days for the bit of paper to come through and they then send it to you by second class mail. The idea that merchant ships get built on the other side of the world and are ready when they are ready, and cost thousands of pounds for each day that they are not earning, does not occur to these people, any more than the idea of accepting applications by fax (email, what's email?).

We applied. Nowt happened so we rang up. They agreed to accept a fax application (photocopy of the one they had lost) They lost the photocopy. We rang again. "I'm not going to waste time looking for your application amongst the eight thousand applications waiting to be processed; I could do half a dozen in the time that would take" said Jobsworth. We tried to point out that HMG were trying to encourage merchant shipping under the Red Ensign (q.v.) "I don't care if you are the Duke of Edinburgh" said Jobsworth, "You'll have to wait your turn like everyone else!"

It arrrived, by second class post. Wrong address and details. We applied again. Same mistake. (You get massively fined for this in the USA, the Republic of Dementia, etc.)

Time was now critical. We despatched a motor cycle courier, cost £268, to their HQ to wait for our twnety quid bit of paper so that we could courier it to Tokyo where a despatch rider would whizz it to the yard and allow the M/V Saucy Sue to get on with her business in life.

" Don't know why you think you're so special" said Jobsworth, "Everyone wants their licence for the Easter holiday!"

Only then did we realise that Jobsworth had no clue that the tonnage figures oin the form indicated a pretty big motor cruiser, and whilst the other eight thousand odd applications were for yachts, ours was for a real ship. Indeed, he obviously had no idea what a ship is!
 
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Surly it didnt take 5 days to built -- isnt this a case of PPPPPP ( Prior planning prevents piss poor performance ) -- I think the project manager should be shot, not blame everybody else -- if it costs thousands to run, apply for the £20 license EARLY.....
 
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It does not work quite like that

We do this all the time, but not for the British register because until the Tonnage Tax nobody used it for proper ships.

You don't know the details that you will write on the form until the ship has been measured, and she cannot be measured before she is almost finished....and you don't know exactly when she will be finished...but you will gather that we DID apply in ample time and NO other ship registry in the commercial world, not Liberia, not Panama, not Honduras, not Malta, or even Cambodia, makes such a donkey's breakfast of it!
 
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Perhaps you should draw the Duke\'s attention to this, Andrew?

He wouldn't appreciate Jobsworth's comment, I imagine, but from what I understand he certainly would take the matter to heart.

But I think even Jobsworth would jump if HRH applied for a licence.
 
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It really is absurd......

... that private pleasure vessels can clog up the works like this.

Or to put it another way -why aren't commercial ships dealt with by a separate agency. Their equipment is more likely to be far more complex than a cheap VHF and maybe a toy radar & a basic epirb.

The only common elements are the frequencies in use not the use eitself. I have never seen Eddie Stobart queuing up at PO Counters to "tax" a 38 tonner nor for that matter Richard (did they give that twerp a knighthood - if so Sir Richard) Branson in line at the local flying club to get his latest batch of 747-700's airworthiness certificates.

So don't blame us Andrew, it's them as sets up the system that 'as got it wrong!

Steve Cronin
 
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Does all this make the Red Ensign a "flag of inconvenience"?*

nm
 
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A twerp?

Bet you wish you were a quid behind him, and just think about how many people he keeps in work!
 
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That "twirp\'s" ...

... doing a great job for the punters who fly around Oz - wish I was as big a twirp as he!
 
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Re: It does not work quite like that

The only thing that surprises me about this is that you were surprised at the quality of service.

This a a Government agency, what do you expect from them.

Always remember they and their system are the absolute top priority. You, the Customer come a long way down their list of priorities.

Maybe Sir Richard should be put in charge - Virgin Licenses? - maybe not.
 
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Re: I hope that the first thing you did was..

..ask for a radio check. So you could be like all the others in the heap of applications.

Tom
 
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Same experience

I had the same experience when renewing from abroad. Because thwey lost the form and I had to submit another and they took days to deal with it, they informed me that I was too late to renew and would have to make a completely new application. "Your form and cheque are retruend together with the new form etc."

Arseholes.
 
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At least you got an answer. I have written twice from abroad, no response.*

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