Department for Transport


There are three different types of Marine Notice which publicise to the shipping and fishing industries important safety, pollution prevention and other relevant information.

Merchant Shipping Notices convey mandatory information that must be complied with under UK legislation. These MSNs relate to Statutory Instruments and contain the technical detail of such regulations.

Marine Guidance Notes give significant advice and guidance relating to the improvement of the safety of shipping and of life at sea, and to prevent or minimise pollution from shipping.

Marine Information Notes are intended for a more limited audience  e.g. training establishments or equipment manufacturers, or contain information which will only be of use for a short period of time, such as timetables for MCA examinations.  Within each series of Marine Notices suffixes are used to indicate whether documents relate to merchant ships and/or fishing vessels. The suffixes following the number are:

  • (M) for merchant ship
  • (F) for fishing vessels
  • (M+F) for both merchant ships and fishing vessels.


When a document provides guidance on the law it should not be regarded as definitive.   The way the law applies to any particular case can vary according to circumstances - for example, from vessel to vessel and you should consider seeking independent legal advice if you are unsure of your own legal position.

M-Notice Record

An interactive spreadsheet containing records of all M-Notices ever issued can be accessed by clicking on the following link:- M-notice - Index Including searches  (Updated on 1 April 2014)

You will find the search engine on the summary page of the spreadsheet which will allow you to search by date or category.

If you have any technical queries or feedback please e-mail the M-Notice Coordinator at