Harwich Haven Authority (HHA) is the Harbour Authority serving the ports of Felixstowe, Harwich International, Ipswich, Harwich Dock Company and Mistley, responsible for around 150 square miles of river and seaward approaches including 42 miles of deep water channels.

It is an independent public trust financed by charges on commercial shipping, with an annual turnover of £17 million. Its responsibilities are the protection, regulation, maintenance and improvement of the harbour. Its primary concern is safety for all harbour users, including leisure interests and also the protection of the environment.

Some 24,000 commercial vessel movements annually, combined with many thousands of leisure craft movements, make harbour management and safety of operations the Authority’s key role.

Harbour Management involves:

• Operating a continuously manned Vessel Traffic Management Service equipped with the latest modern communication and radar technology, to control and advise shipping.

• Provision and maintenance of deep water channels to the ports.

• Buoyage related to harbour access and the River Stour.

• Harbour patrols to ensure safe navigation.


HHA provides a 24-hour pilotage service for all Haven ports, and provides contract boarding and landing services to other pilotage authorities, with a fleet of high speed pilot launches to transport pilots to and from ships at sea.


HHA has a special responsibility to ensure an effective balance between the needs of the various interests concerned with the harbour. It provides several forms of assistance to leisure users, including the production of an annual “Yachting Guide” which is distributed internationally to assist local sailors and foreign visitors. It is also involved in management and conservation agreements with environmental protection agencies and voluntary organisations for the development of innovative uses for dredged materials, including sea defence and coastal protection, and the creation of new fishing habitats.

HHA licenses all work in the Harbour to ensure that all relevant interests are protected.

Harwich Harbour and the environment

The general duties of the Authority as defined in the Harwich Harbour Act 1974, are “To take such steps from time to time as they may consider necessary or expedient for the conservancy, protection, regulation, maintenance and improvement of the harbour”.

The provisions of that legislation translate into the purpose of the Authority which is:

“To safeguard the interests of all sections of the public able to use, enjoy and benefit from the natural facility of which the Authority is guardian”.

For further information check our website on http://www.hha.co.uk/


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