Code Vessel Safety
Code Vessel Safety Unit, located at MCA headquarters in Southampton, provides policy, interpretation and technical advice on the all Codes of Practice for Commercial Vessels. Codes newsletters are used to help distribute useful advice (click below to enter).
Small Craft Codes
Small Vessels operating commercially under the British Flag or in British waters must comply with the Merchant Shipping Regulations or an MCA Code of Practice. There are currently four codes for Small (up to 24m) Vessels.
Alternative construction standards for small vessels in commercial use for sport or pleasure, workboats and pilot boats can be found in MGN 280 (M).
Information on which Vessels are Coded
If you wish to know whether a vessel is currently coded to the relevant standards you can contact the MCA on +44 (0) 23 8032 9139 or email Codes@mcga.gov.uk
The document sets out an equivalent safety standard for Thames Sailing Barges operating with 12 or fewer passengers.
A Code of Practice for Yachts Carrying 13 to 36 Passengers - 3rd Edition
The Police Boat Code 2 (PBC2)
The Police Boat Code 2 has a commencement date of the 1 December 2009. Where contracts have been signed before the 1 October 2010 for new vessels to be built, they may continue to use the previous Police Boat Codes as a suitable standard and follow the phase out requirements within PBC2. Those vessels should have their keels laid, or be at a similar stage of construction before 1 January 2011. Click here to view the Police Boat Code 2.
The ‘Small Passenger Craft High Speed Experience Rides Guidance’ has been specifically produced for the purpose of providing additional management guidance for the operators of small high speed craft engaged in the provision of exhilarating fast experience rides for the fare paying general public.
Large Yacht Safety
The MCA publishes the Code for the construction, safety and operations of large yachts of over 24m in load line length. The current edition is LY2
Small commercial vessel standards, codes and surveys
The Small Commercial Vessel Codes of Practice are a set of standards for the construction, machinery, equipment, stability, operation and examination of vessels up to 24 metres load line length (or under 150 gross tons if built before 21 July 1968), that do not carry more than 12 passengers and which proceed 'to sea' beyond categorised waters in the UK. They provide an equivalent set of standards to the other Merchant Shipping legislation that would apply to such vessels, but which it is difficult in many cases for small vessels to be in compliance with. Click here to view the guide.
For all queries, please contact us on the following :
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
Coded Vessels Safety Unit
Tel: +44 (0)23 8032 9139
or alternatively for any code related queries, e-mail on: firstname.lastname@example.org