Jun 29, 2023
The Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Fishing Vessels of less than 15m Length Overall
Updated 19 August 2022 © Crown copyright 2022 This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit
Updated 19 August 2022
© Crown copyright 2022
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: [email protected].
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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-code-of-practice-for-the-safety-of-small-fishing-vessels-of-less-than-15m-length-overall/the-code-of-practice-for-the-safety-of-small-fishing-vessels-of-less-than-15m-length-overall
The aim of this Code of Practice is to improve safety in the less than 15 metres Length Overall (LOA) sector of the fishing industry and to raise the safety awareness of all those involved with the construction, operation and maintenance of such Vessels.
The content of the Code has been the subject of extensive discussion with the Fishing Industry Safety Group to oversee its development. If the Code needs to be updated at any time to take account of new statutory requirements that apply to Vessels operating under the Code, the organisations involved in the development of the Code will be consulted.
1.1.1 This Code applies to all Fishing Vessels registered in the UK of less than 15 metres Length Overall (LOA). It is given legal effect by the Fishing Vessels (Codes of Practice) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/943) and is referred to in the Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) Regulations 2018 (S.I 2018/1106).
1.1.2 This Code sets out:
1.1.3 A Small Fishing Vessel Certificate will remain valid for up to five years if:
1.1.4 The requirements within the Code are considered to be a minimum. There is nothing to prevent an owner or skipper supplementing the requirements stated, providing they are effective and remain fit for purpose. Where new or emerging technologies can be shown to benefit the safe operation of the Vessel the MCA encourages their consideration.
1.1.5 Annex 1 lists the Regulations, MSNs and MGNs which are relevant to Fishing Vessels that are covered by this Code (this list is for guidance purposes only and skippers and owners shall ensure that they are aware of all applicable laws and guidance).
1.2.1 For the purposes of this Code, there are five categories of Fishing Vessel dependent on age. These are:
18.104.22.168 “Existing Vessel” means a Fishing Vessel registered for first time as a Fishing Vessel before 16 July 2007;
22.214.171.124 “New Vessels (2007)” means a Fishing Vessel registered for the first time as a Fishing Vessel on or after 16 July 2007;
126.96.36.199 “New Vessels (2017)” means a Fishing Vessel registered for the first time as a Fishing Vessel on or after 23 October 2017;
188.8.131.52 “New Vessels (2018)” means a Fishing Vessel in relation to which:
i) the building or major conversion contract has been placed on or after 31 December 2018; or
ii) the building or major conversion contract has been placed before 31 December 2018 and which is delivered three years or more after that date; or
iii) in the absence of a building contract, on or after 31 December 2018:
a. the keel is laid, or
b. construction identifiable with a specific Vessel begins, or
c. assembly has commenced comprising at least 1 per cent of the estimated mass of all structural material;
184.108.40.206 “New Vessels (2021)” means a Fishing Vessel in relation to which:
i) first registration as a Fishing Vessel took place on or after 6 September 2021 or
ii) the vessel was previously registered as a Fishing Vessel but has been unregistered for a period of six months or more, and has joined the Register on or after 6 September 2021 as a Fishing Vessel again under the requirements set out in section 1.5 of this Code.
220.127.116.11 Each Chapter is structured so that within each heading or sub heading it indicates the Vessel definition to which the requirements are applicable. Where no Vessel definition is provided in a paragraph or section heading, then the requirements apply to all Vessels.
1.3.1 From 6 September 2021 Vessels will be inspected against all the requirements of the Code. Each Chapter sets out the requirements to which transistional arrangements apply. Where transistional arrangements apply, if the Vessel is inspected before 6 September 2023 the Vessel is not required to comply with those requirements at that stage. However, the Vessel Owner will be expected to provide proof by 5 September 2023 that the Vessel is in full compliance with all the requirements. Vessels inspected in the 90 days prior to 6 September 2023 will have 90 days from the date of inspection to provide proof that the Vessel is in full compliance with the Code.
1.4.1 The following definitions apply for the purposes of the Code (unless the context indicates otherwise). Definitions which are relevant to only one Chapter are set out at the beginning of the relevant Chapter instead of in this section.
18.104.22.168 “Accommodation spaces” means corridors and lobbies, stairways, lavatories, cabins, offices, crew spaces, pantries not containing cooking appliances and spaces similar to any of the foregoing and trunks to such spaces;
22.214.171.124 “Amidships” is the mid-point of Length overall;
126.96.36.199 “Breadth” is the maximum breadth of the Vessel, measured amidships to the moulded line of the frame in a Vessel with a metal shell and to the outer surface of the hull in a Vessel with a shell constructed of any other material;
188.8.131.52 “Certificate of Construction” means:
i) a Seafish Construction Certificate (for vessels of less than 15m (LOA) built before 21 July 2020);
ii) a Certifying Authority Construction Certificate; or
iii) a certificate demonstrating compliance with a construction standard recognised by MCA as equivalent to the standards in MGN 628 and suitable for Fishing Vessels, such as those of a Recognised Organisation.
184.108.40.206 “Certificate of Outfit” means any of the following:
i) a Seafish Outfit Certificate (for vessels of 7m (RL) to less than 15m (LOA) built before 21 July 2020);
ii) a Certifying Authority Outfit Certificate ; or
iii) a certificate demonstrating compliance with a outfit standard recognised by MCA as equivalent to the standards in MGN6 28 and suitable for Fishing Vessels, such as those of a Recognised Organisation.
220.127.116.11 “Certifying Authority” means:
i) MCA; or
ii) a person or organisation authorised by MCA, to:
a) appoint a surveyor for the purpose of examining Fishing Vessels and issuing and signing Declarations of Survey; and
b) issue Certifying Authority Construction Certificates and Certifying Authority Outfit Certificates;
18.104.22.168 “Certifying Authority Construction Certificate” means a certificate issued by a Certifying Authority demonstrating compliance with construction standards set out in MGN 628;
22.214.171.124 “Certifying Authority Outfit Certificate” means a certificate issued by a Certifying Authority demonstrating compliance with outfit standards set out in MGN 628;
126.96.36.199 “Code” means this Code, unless another Code is specified;
188.8.131.52 “Competent Person” means a person possessing the knowledge or experience necessary for the performance of the duties under this Code;
184.108.40.206 “Crew” means any person, including the skipper, employed or engaged, or working in any capacity related to the operation of the Vessel but excluding shore personnel carrying out work on board a Vessel at the quayside and port pilots;
220.127.116.11 “Crew Space” means crew accommodation within the meaning of section 43(7) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995;
18.104.22.168 “Declaration of Survey” means a declaration by a Certifying Authority surveyor appointed under 22.214.171.124 ii) a) above that a survey was completed to their satisfaction and that the Vessel was found to comply with MGN 628 Construction and Outfit Standards for Fishing Vessels of less than 15m Length overall;
126.96.36.199 “Decked Vessel” is defined in Annex 8 of this Code;
188.8.131.52 “Depth” shall be measured in accordance with The Merchant Shipping (Fishing Vessels - Tonnage) Regulations 1988 (S.I. 1998/1909);
184.108.40.206 “EPIRB” means Emergency Radio Position Indicating Beacon;
220.127.116.11 “Favourable Weather” means conditions existing throughout a voyage or excursion in which the effects either individually or in combination of swell, height of waves, strength of wind and visibility cause no hazard to the safety of the Vessel, including handling ability. In making a judgement on favourable weather, the Skipper should have due regard to official weather forecasts for the service area of the Vessel or to weather information for the area which may be available from the Coastguard or similar coastal safety organisation;
18.104.22.168 “Fire Test Procedures Code” means the IMO Code for Application of Fire Test Procedures;
22.214.171.124 “Fishing Vessel” means a Vessel for the time being used (or, in the context of an application for registration, intended to be used) for, or in connection with fishing for sea fish other than a Vessel used (or intended to be used) for fishing otherwise than for profit; and for the purposes of this definition “sea fish” includes shellfish, salmon and migratory trout (as defined by section 44 of the Fisheries Act 1981);
126.96.36.199 “Freeboard” means the distance measured vertically downwards from the upper edge of the freeboard deck to the waterline. For these purposes “freeboard deck” means the lowest complete deck above the deepest operating waterline from which fishing is undertaken. In Vessels fitted with two or more complete decks, a body responsible for issuing a Certificate of Construction may accept a lower deck as the freeboard deck provided that the deck is situated above the deepest operating waterline;
188.8.131.52 “FRP” means Fibre Reinforced plastic;
184.108.40.206 “GMDSS” means Global Maritime Distress Safety System:
220.127.116.11 “GRP” means Glass Re-inforced Plastic;
18.104.22.168 “International Maritime Organization” the United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships. For these purposes “IMO” means International Maritime Organization;
22.214.171.124 “Length overall ” means the distance between the foreside of the foremost fixed permanent structure and the after side of the aftermost fixed permanent structure. For these purposes
“fixed permanent structure” —
i) includes any part of the hull of a Vessel which is capable of being detached but which is fixed in place during the normal operation of the Vessel; butii) does not include functional arrangements such as boarding platforms, bowsprits, diving platforms, outboard motors, outdrives, propulsion machinery, pulpits, rubbing strips and fenders, rudders, safety rails, steering gear and stemhead fittings;
126.96.36.199 “Lifejacket” means a lifejacket complying with the requirements of the LSA Code;
188.8.131.52 “LOA” means Length Overall.
184.108.40.206 “LSA Code” means the International Life-Saving Appliance (LSA) Code adopted by the Maritime Safety Committee of the IMO by resolution MSC.48(66), as amended from time to time;
220.127.116.11 “Machinery Space” means the main engine room or space where auxiliary engines are located;
18.104.22.168 “MARPOL” means The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships;
22.214.171.124 “MCA” means the Maritime and Coastguard Agency;
126.96.36.199 “MGN” means Marine Guidance Note issued by the MCA. MGNs 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. References to a specific MGN is to be read as a reference to the latest version of the MGN in question, as amended from time to time, or any new MGN which supersedes it;
188.8.131.52 “MIN” means Marine Information Note issued by the MCA. MINs 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. MINs are numbered in sequence and have a cancellation date (which will typically be no more than twelve months after publication). References to a specific MIN is to be read as a reference to the latest version of that MIN, as amended from time to time, or any new MIN which supersedes it;
184.108.40.206 “MSN” means Merchant Shipping Notice issued by the MCA. MSNs are used to convey mandatory information that must be complied with under UK legislation. MSNs relate to specific sets of Regulations and contain the technical details. References to a specific MSN is to be read as a reference to the latest version of that MSN, as amended from time to time, or any new MSN which supersedes it.;
220.127.116.11 “Open Vessel” has the meaning set out in Annex 8 of this Code;
18.104.22.168 “Owner” means the registered owner of a Fishing Vessel, unless that Fishing Vessel has been chartered by demise or is managed, either wholly or in part, by a natural or legal person other than the registered owner under the terms of a management agreement; in that case, the owner shall be construed as the demise charterer or other natural or legal person managing the Vessel as appropriate;
22.214.171.124 “Partial Declaration” means a Partial Declaration Form, issued by MCA confirming that a Vessel of less than 15m (LOA) has been constructed and outfitted in compliance with MGN 628 Construction and Outfit Standards for Fishing Vessels of less than 15m Length Overall;
126.96.36.199 “Personal Floatation Device” means a lifejacket or a buoyancy aid of at least 150N or a wearable buoyancy device of at least 50N that provides buoyancy in the water and is intended to be constantly worn in the case of falling overboard, rather than for intentionally entering the water or survival craft during an abandon ship scenario;
188.8.131.52 “Recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels” means :
i) construction and (where applicable) outfit standards established by Seafish, for vessels built before 21 July 2020;
ii) MGN 628, for vessels built on or after 21 July 2020; or
iii) a construction and (where applicable) outfit standard recognised by MCA as equivalent to the standards in MGN 628 and suitable for Fishing Vessels.
184.108.40.206 “Recognised Organsation” means an organisation authorised by the MCA to survey vessels to its own requirements for the design, construction, equipment, maintenance and survey of ships. Such authorised organisations are listed in MSN 1672 Ship Inspection and Survey Organisations;
220.127.116.11 “Register” means the register of British ships maintained for the UK under section 8 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995;
18.104.22.168 “Registered Length” means the measurement which:
i) is recorded as the registered length in the vessel’s certificate of registry issued under the Merchant Shipping (Registration of Ships) Regulations 1993 (S.I. 1993/3138), in the case of a United Kingdom Fishing Vessel;
ii) is recorded as the registered length in any equivalent certificate issued in the case of a Vessel registered outside the United Kingdom; or
iii) would be recorded as the registered length if the Vessel were a United Kingdom Fishing Vessel, in the case of an unregistered Vessel;
22.214.171.124 “Registrar” means the person described as “the registrar” in section 8(2) of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995;
126.96.36.199 “Registration survey” means the survey prior to registration as a Fishing Vessel which is required for vessels built before 16 July 2007;
188.8.131.52 “RL” means Registered Length;
184.108.40.206 “RSS” means the Register;
220.127.116.11 “Safe Haven” means a harbour or shelter of any kind which affords entry, subject to prudence in the weather conditions prevailing, and protection from the forces of weather;
18.104.22.168 “Sea” means all waters outside a safe haven and can include Categorised Waters as set out in MSN1837;
22.214.171.124 “Seafish” means the Sea Fish Industry Authority;
126.96.36.199 “Seafish Construction Certificate” means a certificate issued by Seafish demonstrating compliance with their construction standards which applied to small Fishing Vessels built prior to 21 July 2020;
188.8.131.52 “Seafish Outfit Certificate” means a certificate issued by Seafish demonstrating compliance with their outfit standards which applied to small Fishing Vessels built prior to 21 July 2020;
184.108.40.206 “Skipper” means the crew member who commands, or has responsibility of the vessel holding the relevant certificates;
220.127.116.11 “Small Fishing Vessel Certificate” means a certificate issued by MCA in respect of a Fishing Vessel which has demonstrated compliance with this Code, and takes the format set out in Annex 2;
18.104.22.168 “SOLAS ” means the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea;
22.214.171.124 “Superstructure” has the meaning as set out in MGN 628 The Construction Standard for Fishing Vessels of less than 15m Length Overall;
126.96.36.199 “Survey” means the survey for the issue of a Certificate of Construction and, where applicable, a Certificate, or a registration survey;
188.8.131.52 “Vessel” means one or more of the following (depending on the context): a New Vessel (2021), a New Vessel (2018), a New Vessel (2017), a New Vessel (2007), an Existing Vessel or a Vessel which is seeking to join the Register;
184.108.40.206 “Watertight” in relation to a structure means capable of preventing the passage of water through the structure in any direction under a head of water for which the surrounding structure is designed;
220.127.116.11 “Weather Deck” means the main deck that is exposed to the elements;
18.104.22.168 “Weathertight” means that in any sea conditions water will not penetrate into the vessel.
1.4.2 References to the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 or to Regulations (which are made, or have effect as if made, under that Act), are to that Act or to those Regulations as amended from time to time.
1.4.3 Standards such as BS (British Standard), EN (European Standard accepted by the European Committee for Standardisation, CEN), IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) and ISO (International Organization for Standardisation) and MED (Marine Equipment Directive) referred to in the Code, shall include any Standards that amend or replace them from time to time.
1.5.1 Before a Fishing Vessel can be registered, the owner must demonstrate to the Registrar that:
22.214.171.124 it meets a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels; and
126.96.36.199 it complies with this Code, through the presentation of a Small Fishing Vessel Certificate.
1.5.2 The requirements for demonstrating compliance with a recognised Construction and, Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels are contained in 1.6 below.
1.5.3 The requirements regarding a Small Fishing Vessel Certificate are set out in section 1.7 below.
1.6.1 From 16 July 2007 to 20 July 2020, to gain registration, new Fishing Vessels of less than 15m (LOA) had to be built in accordance with the Seafish construction and outfit standards or those of another body recognised by the MCA as equivalent to the standards in MGN 628, such as those of a Recognised Organisation. From 21 July 2020 new Fishing Vessels of less than 15m (LOA) must be built in accordance with MGN 628. The following requirements for demonstrating compliance with recognised Construction and Outfit Standards for Fishing Vessels reflect these changes in the applicable standards.
1.6.2 Fishing Vessels of less than 7m (RL) built between 16 July 2007 and 20 July 2020 shall have:
188.8.131.52 a Seafish Construction Certificate [footnote 1] or a certificate demonstrating compliance with an equivalent construction standard recognised by MCA as suitable for Fishing Vessels, such as those of a Recognised Organisation.
1.6.3 Fishing Vessels of 7m (RL) to less than 15m (LOA) built between 16 July 2007 and 20 July 2020 shall have:
184.108.40.206 a Seafish Construction Certificate and a Seafish Outfit Certificate or certificates demonstrating compliance with equivalent standards of construction and outfit recognised by MCA as suitable for Fishing Vessels, such as those of a Recognised Organisation.
1.6.4 Fishing Vessels of less than 7m (RL) built on or after 21 July 2020 shall have:
220.127.116.11 A Certifying Authority Construction Certificate or a certificate accepted as demonstrating compliance with an equivalent construction standard recognised by MCA as suitable for Fishing Vessels, such as those of a Recognised Organisation
1.6.5 Fishing Vessels of 7m (RL) to less than 12m (RL) built on or after 21 July 2020 shall have:
18.104.22.168 A Certifying Authority Construction Certificate and a Certifying Authority Outfit Certificate or certificates of construction and outfit accepted as demonstrating compliance with an equivalent standard recognised by MCA as suitable for Fishing Vessels, such as those of a Recognised Organisation.
1.6.6 Fishing Vessels of 12m (RL) to less than 15m (LOA) built on or after 21 July 2020 shall have:
22.214.171.124 A Partial Declaration issued by MCA or certificates of construction and outfit accepted as demonstrating compliance with an equivalent standard recognised by MCA as suitable for Fishing Vessels, such as those of a Recognised Organisation.
1.6.7 Fishing Vessels built prior to 16 July 2007:
126.96.36.199 Owners will be required to prove that the condition of the Vessel is satisfactory. This is carried out by a Certifying Authority as defined by 188.8.131.52 ii) which will complete a Registration Survey Comparison Report.
184.108.40.206 The process for Registration Surveys is set out in MGN 630 (M&F)
220.127.116.11 Fishing Vessels, will be examined against MGN 628 and a Registration Survey Comparison Report submitted to the MCA who will then examine the Certifying Authority’s Registration Survey Comparison Report, and either allow registration or require the owner to address areas of concern.
18.104.22.168 Registration will not be allowed to proceed until areas of concern have been addressed to the satisfaction of MCA and the Certifying Authority.
1.6.8 Before purchasing a Vessel or commissioning a new build Vessel the intended owner is advised to seek professional advice on:
22.214.171.124 the suitability of the Vessel for its intended mode of fishing; and
126.96.36.199 the suitability of the Vessel to be registered as a Fishing Vessel.
188.8.131.52 The Fishing Vessels (Codes of Practice) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/943) require that no Fishing Vessel may proceed on a voyage unless it has a valid Small Fishing Vessel Certificate and that at the time of the voyage the Vessel continues to comply with the Code. This Code sets out how to meet these requirements, obtain a Small Fishing Vessel Certificate and maintain compliance at all times. Failure to meet this requirement can lead to a fine or imprisonment as set out in Regulation 5(4) of those Regulations.
184.108.40.206 To comply with the Code the owner is responsible for ensuring that the Vessel:
i) is built, equipped, surveyed, inspected, certified, maintained and operated in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Code;
ii) is subjected to a renewal inspection at intervals not exceeding five years;
iii) is subjected to annual self-certification inspections in accordance with section 1.8; iv) continues to comply with the requirements of the Code whilst registered as a Fishing Vessel;
v) is operated by appropriately qualified and certificated crew who have completed mandatory training courses.
220.127.116.11 In order to obtain a Small Fishing Vessel Certificate, if the MCA is satisfied that a Vessel meets recognised Construction and Outfit Standards for Fishing Vessels (or in the case of Vessels built before 16 July 2007, that the condition of the Vessel is satisfactory for registration as a Fishing Vessel) the Vessel must undergo an MCA inspection which will cover the other requirements of this Code, the crew qualifications, and any other mandatory requirements.
18.104.22.168 Applications for inspection shall be made by or on behalf of the owner of the Vessel to MCA, giving reasonable notice for the inspection to be carried out.
22.214.171.124 Vessel Owners shall also present their Vessel for inspection at change of ownership and at intervals not exceeding five years from the date of last inspection for a renewal of the Small Fishing Vessel Certificate. If owners wish to present their Vessels as a group to be inspected on the same day, the Marine Office should be contacted as early as possible prior to the required attendance to make the necessary arrangements.
126.96.36.199 The owner should arrange for an inspection to be carried out by MCA prior to the expiry of an existing Small Fishing Vessel Certificate for its renewal. The Vessel shall be inspected both in and out of the water.
188.8.131.52 The in-water inspection must take place prior to issue of a first Small Fishing Vessel Certificate and prior to any subsequent renewals.
184.108.40.206 The first out of water inspection may take place at any time from 6 September 2021 but must take place at least before the first anniversary date of the issue of the Small Fishing Vessel Certificate under this Code.
220.127.116.11 Subsequent out of water inspections must take place at periods not exceeding five years from the date of the previous out-of-water inspection.
18.104.22.168 Vessels need not undergo an out of water inspection at change of ownership unless the next out of water inspection is due within six months of the date of change of ownership. However, the owner must ensure that the out of water inspection is still undertaken within five years of the previous out of water inspection.
22.214.171.124 If MCA is satisfied that a Vessel has been duly inspected in accordance with the provisions of this Code and is found to comply with the requirements of the Code and relevant Regulations issued under the the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (see list of the main Regulations in Annex 1), a Small Fishing Vessel Certificate, in the format set out in Annex 2, will be issued by MCA to the owner of the Vessel. The Small Fishing Vessel Certificate may remain valid for five years from the date of its issue or such shorter period as may be specified by MCA.
126.96.36.199 Where a renewal inspection is completed after the expiry of the existing Small Fishing Vessel Certificate, the new Small Fishing Vessel Certificate will be valid for not more than five years from the date of expiry of the existing certificate.
188.8.131.52 A Vessel may be inspected by MCA at any time to check compliance with the requirements of this Code.
184.108.40.206 MCA may cancel a Small Fishing Vessel Certificate if satisfied:
i) that the certificate has been issued based upon false or erroneous information;
ii) that since the issue of the certificate, the hull, equipment or machinery have sustained any damage or are otherwise inadequate for their intended service;
iii) that the Vessel has been significantly modified or altered or changed its mode of fishing without due authorisation by MCA;
iv) that another Small Fishing Vessel Certificate has been issued in respect of the Vessel; or
v) that the Vessel has ceased to be registered as a UK Fishing Vessel.
1.8.1 The Vessel Owner shall ensure that every year, within one month of the anniversary of the issue of the Vessel’s Small Fishing Vessel Certificate they (or other competent person(s) appointed by them) inspect the Vessel to confirm that:
220.127.116.11 safety equipment carried on board the Vessel has been suitably maintained and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
18.104.22.168 the Vessel remains compliant with the requirements of this Code;
22.214.171.124 safety and other specified equipment continues to comply with the relevant checklist at Annexes 3.1 to 3.6 appropriate to the length and construction of the Vessel; and
126.96.36.199 a health and safety risk assessment has been completed and given or explained to the crew.
1.8.2 On completion of the annual self-certification inspection, the owner must sign the Annual Self Declaration Form (see Specimen Certificate at Annex 4) confirming that the Vessel complies with the Code. A copy of the Annual Self Declaration Form shall be retained on board for inspection purposes. Failure to carry out the annual self-certification inspection and complete the Annual Self Declaration Form may lead to enforcement action by MCA.
1.9.1 The owner of a Fishing Vessel must notify MCA at the earliest opportunity of the details of any proposal to alter or modify the structure of that Vessel, remove, replace or reposition engines or machinery or to change to a new method of fishing and/or gear. MCA will consider whether it should investigate these proposed modifications and alterations or changes, prior to them being made, to ensure that the Vessel will continue to comply with the stability criteria as required by Chapter 3 of this Code. In addition, modifications, alterations or changes to any Vessel shall meet the requirements of MGN628 and only be carried out after consultation with, and approval from, MCA. A new method of fishing means any method of fishing not recorded on the Small Fishing Vessel Certificate or not previously undertaken prior to 6 September 2021.
1.9.2 The transitional arrangements, referred to in section 1.3 and set out in each Chapter, do not apply when, after 6 September 2021, a Fishing Vessel undertakes modifications, alterations or changes as set out in 1.9.1 above or changes its method of fishing to a method that it has not previously undertaken. Such vessels must comply with the requirements as applicable to New Vessels (2021) contained in Chapter 3 as appropriate and with the requirements for New Vessels (2021) as they apply to the aspects of the vessel affected by the proposed modifications, alterations or changes, regardless of whether they have yet to be inspected by MCA against this Code.
1.10.1 If an owner is dissatisfied with a survey or inspection, then this should in the first instance be discussed with the person who carried out the inspection.
1.10.2 If agreement cannot be reached with the person who carried out the survey or inspection, the owner may refer the matter to the Consultant Surveyor (Fishing Vessels) in the Region where the Vessel was inspected.
1.10.3 Should the above procedure fail to resolve the dispute, the owner may refer the matter to the Director of Maritime Services at MCA Headquarters, and, if necessary, to MCA Chief Executive.
1.10.4 If an owner is still not content with the way in which the complaint has been handled, the owner may serve notice, within 21 days, of the completion of the procedure given in sections 1.10.1 to 1.10.3 above, on MCA that their dispute be referred to a single arbitrator appointed by agreement between MCA and the owner.
1.10.5 A person should not be qualified for appointment as an arbitrator unless that person is:
188.8.131.52 a person holding a certificate of competency as a deck officer, marine engineer officer or equivalent;
184.108.40.206 a naval architect;
220.127.116.11 a person with special experience of the fishing industry;
18.104.22.168 a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; or
22.214.171.124 a person holding a Certificate of Competency (Fishing Vessels) Class 1.
1.10.6 The final allocation of costs will depend on the arbitrator’s decision. If the decision is in the favour of the owner, the arbitrator may award the owner such compensation as the arbitrator thinks fit in addition to allocating costs.
1.10.7 The Ombudsman (also called the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration) plays an important role as the final step on the complaints ladder and provides a fully independent channel for reviewing complaints. If an owner wishes to complain to the Ombudsman, they should write to their MP, and ask him or her to refer it to the Ombudsman.
1.10.8 Usually, before an owner can complain to the Ombudsman’s Office, they will expect the owner to have put their complaint to MCA first, using MCA’s internal complaints procedure.
This Chapter sets out the minimum requirements for Construction, Watertight and Weathertight Intregrity to ensure that water is prevented from entering the Vessel and that any water on the Vessel can quickly escape
2.1.1 “sole deck” the surface of an open boat which is stood upon.
2.2.1 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter:
• Sections 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.5.2, 2.6.1, 2.6.3, 2.7.2, 2.7.3, 2.8.2, 2.9.2, 2.9.3, 2.10.2, 2.11.3, 2.12.2, 2.13.1, 2.13.2, 2.13.4, 2.14.1 to 2.14.5, 2.15.2, 2.15.3, 2.16.1, 2.16.2, 2.17.1 to 2.17.4, 2.18.1 to 2.18.3.
2.2.2 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter:
• Sections 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.3.5, 2.5.2, 2.6.1, 2.6.3,2.7.4, 2.8.3, 2.9.4, 2.10.3, 2.11.4, 2.12.2, 2.12.5, 2.13.2, 2.13.4, 2.14.6, 2.15.4, 2.16.3, 2.17.2, 2.17.5, 2.18.4.
2.3.1 The structural strength and construction of every Fishing Vessel and the disposition of bulkheads shall be adequate for all foreseeable operating conditions in service. The scantlings, arrangements and construction for the hull, bulkheads, superstructures, deckhouses, machinery casings, companionways and other structures shall be sufficient to withstand all operational loads arising during the Vessel’s service. Particular attention should be paid to the intended fishing methods.
2.3.2 The Vessel should be maintained in such a manner as to be watertight and in accordance with the construction standard applicable at the time of construction (see section 1.6 – note Vessels may have been built to a Seafish construction standard prior to 16 July 2007. If a Vessel was constructed to a construction standard prior to 16 July 2007 then the requirements of this section also apply). The number of openings in the watertight structure of the Vessel must be as few as practicable and be provided with the closing and securing arrangements described below.
2.3.3 Where the Vessel was accepted for registration following a Registration Survey, then where the Vessel did not meet the requirements of this Chapter, it must be maintained to the requirements placed on it by MCA for first registration.
2.3.4 New Vessels (2021) must be built and maintained to a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels, and with the requirements stated in this Chapter. Hull construction and arrangement drawings shall be reviewed and approved by the MCA. The hull shall be surveyed during construction by a Certifying Authority to verify compliance with the approved drawings. Appropriate Certificates of Construction and Certificates of Outfit or where applicable, Partial Declarations issued by MCA shall be issued on completion of build.
2.3.5 An Existing Vessel will be considered to be of acceptable structural strength for the purposes of this Code if MCA has determined that it is in a good state of repair.
2.4.1 When modifications, alterations or repairs are carried out to all Vessels, these must be in accordance with a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels and the additional or replacement construction materials must be of a similar nature and standard as the original material. Alternative materials must also be compatible with the original hull material.
2.4.2 New Vessels (2021) should be constructed of the following materials or a suitable combination:
126.96.36.199 Aluminium Alloy.
2.4.3 Construction and materials differing from those in 2.4.2 will be specially considered, taking into account the nature of the material and soundness of construction.
2.5.1 Full length and partial weather decks, including shelter decks, must be of sound and watertight construction, and be of sufficient strength to withstand the sea and weather conditions likely to be encountered.
2.5.2 Recesses in weather decks must be fitted with drainage arrangements so that the deck drains under all normal conditions of trim.
2.5.3 Minimum requirements for freeboard are given in sections 3.12 and 3.13.
2.6.1 Bulkheads, if fitted, are required to be watertight.
2.6.2 The latest requirements of a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels should be incorporated when the Vessel undergoes major structural work or alterations and in the case of machinery space bulkheads, when the Vessel is re-engined.
2.6.3 On Existing Vessels where the Vessel was constructed to standards which did not require watertight construction, or standards did not exist, the bulkhead arrangement is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
2.7.1 Accesses shall be kept closed at sea.
2.7.2 Accesses through watertight bulkheads, if fitted, shall be of watertight construction and have equivalent structural strength to that of the adjacent bulkhead.
2.7.3 Any penetrations made through watertight bulkheads for cable / pipework / shafting etc., should not affect the watertight integrity of the bulkhead.
2.7.4 Existing Vessels, built to standards which did not set out requirements for penetrations or access through bulkheads, or where at the time of construction standards did not exist, shall remain acceptable provided that they continue to remain fit for purpose.
2.8.1 Doors must be of sound construction and be weathertight.
2.8.2 Doorways giving access to space below the deck should be fitted with a permanent coaming of 300 mm minimum height above the deck.
2.8.3 Existing Vessels constructed to standards which did not require a permanent coaming, or where at the time of construction standards did not exist, a portable coaming may be provided, fixed in guide channels to give a minimum coaming height of 300 mm.
2.9.1 Hatches must only be kept open when necessary for fishing operations and otherwise be kept closed at sea to prevent the risk of downflooding and capsize, and signage provided stating “To be Kept Closed at Sea”.
2.9.2 Where fitted, hatches should be attached to the Vessel by hinges or chains. Where access or loading/unloading hatchways are fitted in the weather deck, raised coamings of substantial construction and with a minimum height of 300 mm should be provided. Where there would be unreasonable interference with the efficient operation of the Vessel, the coaming may be omitted, provided that the hatch can be secured weathertight and is not opened at sea. Hatchway covers fitted in the weather deck must be provided with efficient means of securing weathertight closure.
2.9.3 Hatchways should be as small as possible subject to the requirements of access and escape arrangements as required by MGN 628 Chapter 11 or the recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels to which the Vessel was constructed.
2.9.4 The arrangement of an Existing Vessel, constructed to standards which did not set out requirements for hatches or coamings, or when standards did not exist, is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
2.10.1 Scuttles and hatches must be kept closed at sea to prevent the risk of downflooding and capsize.
2.10.2 Ice scuttles, where fitted, must be of metal construction, with screw or bayonet type clamp fastening and with the loose cover permanently attached to the structure with hinges, wire or chain and be capable of being closed watertight.
2.10.3 The arrangement of an Existing Vessel, constructed to standards which did not set out requirements for flush hatches or scuttles, or when standards did not exist, is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
2.11.1 Skylights must be capable of being closed weathertight from both sides. Skylights used as emergency escapes shall be clearly marked and be kept clear of obstructions.
2.11.2 Portable blanking pieces or plates must be stored in a readily accessible position.
2.11.3 Skylights must be of efficient construction.
2.11.4 On Existing Vessels, constructed to standards which did not require the glazing material and its method of fixing to be equivalent in strength to the surrounding structure, or when standards did not exist, portable blanking pieces or plates that can be secured over the glazing must be provided.
2.12.1 Portable blanking pieces and plates must be stored in a readily accessible position.
2.12.2 Glazing material in existing sidelights must be sound and efficiently secured.
2.12.3 When the glazing material is damaged it must be blanked off. Replacement material must meet the requirements of a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels.
2.12.4 Side Scuttles and portlights shall not be fitted below the weather deck.
2.12.5 On Existing Vessels, which do not meet the requirements of 2.12.4 above owing to standards at the time of construction not requiring it or standards not existing at the time of construction, side scuttles or portlights fitted below the weathertight deck and not fitted with an attached deadlight must be provided with a portable blanking pieces and plates, which can be efficiently secured, if the glazing breaks.
2.13.1 Windows shall not be fitted below the weather deck.
2.13.2 Glazing material in existing windows must be sound and efficiently secured, and glass should be toughened or laminated.
2.13.3 Replacement material must meet the requirements of a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels.
2.13.4 Windows fitted to spaces above the weather deck, such as a deckhouse or superstructure protecting an opening leading to below the weather deck, must be weathertight.
2.14.1 An effective and continuous means of ventilation is to be provided to all enclosed accommodation spaces, and service spaces which under normal operating conditions may be entered by persons on board.
2.14.2 There shall be sufficient fresh air in enclosed workplaces, having regard to the work methods used and the physical demands that are placed on the crew.
2.14.3 If a mechanical ventilation system is used, it shall be maintained in good condition.
2.14.4 Ventilators serving spaces below the watertight deck must be provided with an effective means of weathertight closure.
2.14.5 Ventilators which need to be kept open at sea to allow machinery to run are to be considered as downflooding points for stability calculations irrespective of whether weathertight closures are fitted or not. See further section 188.8.131.52.ii.
2.14.6 The arrangement of an Existing Vessel, constructed to standards which did not set out ventilation requirements or when standards did not exist, is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
2.15.1 On all Vessels where exhaust pipes pass through accommodation spaces or wheelhouses, gas alarms should be fitted in accordance with section 6.8.
2.15.2 Engine exhaust systems of the dry or water-injected type, which discharge through the hull below the watertight deck at the side or stern, should be provided with permanently attached means of preventing back flooding into the hull or engine through the exhaust system. This may be by system design, valve or non-return device.
2.15.3 Exhaust systems which go up by the funnel or through accommodation shall be insulated to prevent the risk fire and ventilated away from crew.
2.15.4 The arrangement of an Existing Vessel, constructed to standards which did not set out exhaust system requirements or when standards did not exist, is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
2.16.1 Air pipe arrangements must be of sound construction, operate efficiently and be provided with an efficient means of watertight closure, with provision made to prevent overpressure or vacuum occurring when tanks are filled or emptied.
2.16.2 Exposed air pipes, in excess of 25 mm diameter, serving fuel oil, hydraulic oil, and lubricating oil tanks must be fitted with anti-flash gauze diaphragms. Where the pipe is 25mm or less in diameter alternative arrangements may be considered. Where the pipe internal diameter is 25 mm or less, alternative arrangements may be considered.
2.16.3 On Existing Vessels, constructed to standards which did not set out air pipe requirements or when standards did not exist, arrangements will continue to be acceptable provided that the arrangements remain fit for purpose.
2.17.1 Sea inlets and discharges should be fitted with an efficient means of closure. Sea inlets should be marked or have indications to show whether they are open or closed and the system they serve.
2.17.2 Use of flexible hoses must be restricted to vibration isolation and consideration given to installing permanent piping wherever possible. Where sea inlet piping systems comprise flexible hose, the connection of the hose to the sea inlet must be of sound and efficient construction and purpose designed clips used where possible. Where this is not possible, double clipping may be accepted.
2.17.3 Inlet or discharge openings should be fitted with a valve or seacock at the hull connection, which is readily accessible for operation in an emergency. If such valves are inaccessible in an emergency, they should be fitted with a remote means of operation, i.e. by extended spindle or wire pull device operable above floor plate level.
2.17.4 Openings serving as discharges from engine cooling water, bilge and general service pumps, galley and toilet drains, etc., should be fitted with an automatic non-return valve adjacent to the closing valve. Alternatively, a screw down non-return type valve may be fitted.
2.17.5 On Existing Vessels, constructed to standards which did not set out requirements or when standards did not exist for sea inlets or discharge requirements, the arrangements will continue to be acceptable provided that valves fitted at hull penetrations remain both accessible and fit for purpose and comply with 2.17.2 above.
2.18.1 Valves, pipes and fittings serving as sea inlets and discharges attached directly to the hull of the Vessel below the load waterline should be of steel, bronze, or other equivalent and compatible material.
2.18.2 Where the sea inlet valve or fitting is connected to the hull by means of a tube or distance piece, the tube or distance piece should be of a material that is compatible with the hull and valve.
2.18.3 Valves, piping and flexible hoses must be of sound and efficient construction and installation. All piping systems must be well supported with pipe clips or mounts and protected against vibration and chafing.
2.18.4 On Existing Vessels, constructed to standards which did not set out requirements for materials for valves and associated piping for sea water systems, arrangements will continue to be acceptable provided that valves fitted at hull penetrations remain both accessible and fit for purpose.
2.19.1 New Vessels (2007), (2017), (2018) and (2021) shall comply with the water freeing arrangements contained in the recognised Construction Standard for Fishing Vessels applicable at the time of construction.
2.19.2 Open Vessels are to be fitted with bilge pumps as required by section 4.10.
2.19.3 In Open Vessels where water coming on board normally drains to the bilge, the following provisions should apply:-
184.108.40.206 The height of any door sill above the fixed sole level in open type Vessels should be as high as practical, but in New Vessels (2021) no less than 200 mm. If hinged, the door should open outwards. Doors should be operable from both sides.
220.127.116.11 Air pipes and ventilators leading from below the level of the sole should have the open end as high as practical and be protected against mechanical damage.
2.19.4 The level of the sole deck should not be positioned at such a height that it would have an adverse effect on the stability of the Vessel. The following guidance is given:
18.104.22.168 There should be effective drain openings fitted on each side of the sole deck to enable any water to drain directly to the bottom of the Vessel. In the case of a Vessel with a sealed sole deck, an aft sump is to be fitted, extending from the keel to deck; potters and creel boats may have a sump located adjacent to the hauler position.
22.214.171.124 The drainage area should be at least 2% of the total bulwark area above the sole;
126.96.36.199 Open Vessels are not to be fitted with freeing ports;
188.8.131.52 Any barrier or coaming which may be fitted to the sole to prevent the entry of rain water to the bottom of the Vessel should not be at a height any greater than 25 mm above the level of the sole;
184.108.40.206 The bilge pumping intake should be at a readily accessible position;
220.127.116.11 Sole support structures that form buoyancy spaces are to be sealed and surfaces that may come into contact with water are to be sealed with gel coat or similar.
2.19.5 Open Vessels with a sole and which are fitted with a small limber hole shall have the limber hole replaced with a proprietary drain fitting with a screw in plug that is permanently attached. The drain shall be plugged in operation but may be opened when out of service to protect the Vessel. The hole should be 25 mm diameter at the most.
2.20.1 For Vessels under 12 m (RL), where, due to the nature of the Vessel’s design this requirement cannot be met or would prove impractical in operation, alternative arrangements based on MSN1892 The Workboat Code section 6.3, or MCA Marine Survey Instructions to Surveyors 27 (MSIS 27) Fishing Vessel Instructions to Surveyors Chapter 2, 2.20 – 2.21, may be accepted on application to MCA. For sealed deck Vessels under 7 m (RL) in length or which operate no more than 20 miles from shore and at all times in favourable weather, a reduction in required freeing port area may be accepted on application to MCA.
2.20.2 New Vessels (2007), (2017), (2018) and, (2021) shall comply with the water freeing arrangements contained in the recognised Construction Standard for Fishing Vessels applicable at the time of construction.
2.20.3 Any application to the MCA under paragraph 2.20.1 shall be supported by the designer of the Vessel or, where this is not possible, a suitable maritime professional. The application should demonstrate equivalence with a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels.
2.20.4 On Decked Vessels, where the fixed bulwarks, ends or sides of superstructures etc., form enclosed wells, means to clear entrapped water are to be provided and may comprise any, or any combination, of the following:-
18.104.22.168 Freeing ports with an attached means of closing (provided that the freeing port is closed only during fishing operations and that the closing device is easily operable and accessible);
22.214.171.124 Permanent openings in the bulwarks such as slots;
126.96.36.199 Apertures in and under bulwark or stern ramp doors;
188.8.131.52 Deck scuppers where the discharge is above the load waterline.
2.20.5 The minimum area for freeing ports on each side of the well or deck is to be not less than 3% of the total bulwark area each side. Where monohull length/breadth ratios are greater than 2.5 then an additional 1% is required in freeing port area each side. The arrangement of Vessels not built to a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels at the time of construction or when there were no construction standards in place remain acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose
2.20.6 The total bulwark area is not to include the minimum height of rail or other openings used to deploy gear when calculating the freeing port area.
2.20.7 Water retained on board the Vessel will reduce stability and increase the risk of capsize. Lift-up closing appliances shall not be fitted to freeing ports, or locking devices fitted to freeing port flaps, if they reduce the total freeing port area along either side of the Vessel below the freeing port requirement. They will only be considered acceptable where they are secure in the open positon and the remaining open freeing port area meets the requirement when the appliances are closed. Lift-up closing appliances should be fitted to no more than 50% of ports.
2.20.8 Freeing ports are to be arranged throughout the length of the bulwark or well to provide maximum drainage under all normal conditions. At the discretion of the surveyor, up to one third of the freeing port area required at each side may be located in the transom bulwark, with the Vessel centreline dividing the port and starboard side allocation. Where the freeing port area in the transom bulwark is greater than the maximum one third allowance per side, the excess area shall not be included in the total freeing port area provided.
2.20.9 Where deck erections within a well limit the volume of water that may be retained onboard, then the freeing port area may be reduced proportionally provided that such erections do not in themselves contribute to water retention.
2.20.10 The means of clearing water must not provide easy access for water to enter the enclosed deck space.
2.20.11 Any freeing port or slot in the bulwark is to have the bottom edge as close to the deck as possible. Freeing ports greater than 230 mm in depth and wider than 350 mm are to be fitted with bars.
2.20.12 Where freeing ports are fitted with hinged flaps or shutters, sufficient clearance to prevent jamming is to be provided and hinges are to be fitted with pins of non-corrodible material. Greasing points or nipples are to be provided where practicable.
2.20.13 Deck pounds, machinery and net or gear stowage shall not impede the free flow of trapped water to the freeing ports or slots.
2.20.14 Where Vessels are fitted with full or partial shelters which are left open at the stern, and where the passage of water forward is not restricted by watertight bulkheads, the freeing port area is to be increased by 1% over the requirement stated in section 2.20.4 above.
This Chapter sets out the minimum requirements for Vessel stability, ensuring that the risk of capsize and the effect of any modifications or changes of fishing methods on the risk of capsize is known.
3.1.1 “Draught” means the vertical distance from the moulded base line amidships to the operating water line of a Vessel;
3.1.2 “Heel Test” means the test conducted in accordance with Annex 5;
3.1.3 “Inclining Test” means the test conducted in accordance with Marine Survey Instructions to Surveyors 9 (MSIS9) Instructions for the Guidance of Surveyors on Stability Approval;
3.1.4 “Lightship”, is a ship complete in all respects, but without all portable fishing gear, consumables, stores, cargo, and crew and effects, and without any liquids on board except for machinery and piping fluids, such as lubricants and hydraulics, which are at operating levels;
3.1.5 “Lightship check” is a procedure to establish the weight and centres of gravity of the Vessel without portable fishing gear consumables, stores, cargo, crew and effects and without any liquids on board except that machinery and piping fluids are at operating levels;
3.1.5 “Offset Load Test” means the test conducted in accordance with Annex 6;
3.1.6 “Roll Test” means the test conducted in accordance with Annex 7.
3.2.1 All Vessels are required to maintain a record of stability tests which must be readily available for viewing at inspections. Where a stability information book in accordance with MGN 281 is not required, a record book shall be maintained which contains:
184.108.40.206 results of Heel Tests or Roll Tests conducted, as per MGN 503, at the time of the Small Fishing Vessel Certificate renewal (to facilitate detection of changes in stability), at each subsequent renewal inspection and pre and post any Vessel modifications, alterations or changes taking place (as set out in section 1.9 above), or if the Vessel changes fishing method;
220.127.116.11 results of Offset Load Tests as required by this Code;
18.104.22.168 the Wolfson Stability Guidance Notice (see Annex 9) and the associated freeboard (to provide direct guidance on safe loading & lifting: the fitting of the Wolfson Freeboard Mark is recommended).
3.2.2 Wolfson Stability Guidance Notices can be produced through the following link www.safetyfolder.co.uk
3.3.1 Unnecessary spare gear, stores and parts and accumulated debris shall be removed or limited.
3.4.1 All Vessels shall satisfy the required stability criteria when intact in the conditions of service for which they are intended.
3.4.2 The skipper shall take the precautionary measures necessary to maintain adequate stability of the Vessel.
3.4.3 Information on the Vessel’s stability shall be available on board and accessible to those on watch.
3.4.4 Instructions concerning the Vessel’s stability shall be strictly observed by those on watch.
3.4.5 Stability information shall be checked and the continuing validity confirmed when renewing the Small Fishing Vessel Certifcate renewal by verifying the Vessel’s lightship details held by MCA for vessels required to comply with sections 3.4.8 and 3.5 to 3.6 below or by verifying the Offset Load, Roll and Heel Tests as required by sections 3.8 to 3.12. When changing, repositioning or adding equipment that adds or removes significant weight or places the weight at a different height, either higher or lower, e.g. fishing gear, winches, or shelters, professional advice shall be sought on the effect this could have on the stability of the Vessel before the changes are made. Significant weight is considered as exceeding the criteria set out in 22.214.171.124 below.
3.4.6 Fishing Vessels of 12 metres (RL) to less than 15 metres (LOA) shall be provided with approved stability information to the satisfaction of MCA, in accordance with MGN 281(F), for the Vessel’s intended operation.
3.4.7 Placement of the draught marks shall be witnessed by MCA.
3.4.8 Vessels of 12 metres (RL) to less than 15 metres (LOA) built before 6 September 2021 and already registered as Fishing Vessels are recommended to have placement of the draught marks witnessed by MCA.
3.5.1 Vessels to which sections 3.4.6, 3.8, 3.9, 3.10 or 3.12 apply shall, for the operating conditions and circumstances set out in MGN 281 including icing allowances when applicable, and in all foreseeable operating conditions, satisfy the following stability criteria after due correction for the free surface effects of liquids in tanks:
126.96.36.199 the area under the curve of righting levers (GZ curve) should not be less than:
i) 0.055 metre-radians up to an angle of 30°;
ii) 0.090 metre-radians up to an angle of 40° or such lesser angle of heel at which the lower edges of any openings in the hull, superstructures, deckhouses or companionways, being openings that cannot be closed weathertight, are immersed;
iii) 0.030 metre-radians between the angles of heel of 30° and 40° or such lesser angle as defined in (b);
188.8.131.52 the righting lever (GZ) should be at least 200mm at an angle of heel equal to or greater than 30°;
184.108.40.206 the maximum righting lever (GZ) should occur at an angle of heel not less than 25°;
220.127.116.11 in the upright position the transverse metacentric height (GM) should not be less than 350mm.
3.5.2 If a Vessel with beam to depth ratio greater than 2.5, such as a catamaran or multihull type does not meet the stability criteria given in section 3.5.1, the Vessel should meet the following criteria:
18.104.22.168 the area under the righting lever curve (GZ Curve) should not be less than 0.085 metre radians up to θGZmax when θGZmax = 15º and 0.055 metre-radians up to θGZmax when θGZmax = 30º.
When the maximum righting lever, GZmax, occurs between θ = 15º and θ = 30º the required area under the GZ Curve up to θGZmax should not be less than:
A = 0.055 + 0.002(30º - θGZmax) metre-radians
where: θGZmax is the angle of heel in degrees at which the righting lever curve reaches its maximum;
22.214.171.124 the area under the righting lever curve between θ = 30º and θ = 40º or between θ = 30º and the angle of downflooding θf, if this angle is less than 40º, should not be less than 0.03 metre-radians;
126.96.36.199 the righting lever GZ should not be less than 0.2 metre at an angle of heel of 30º;
188.8.131.52 the maximum righting lever should occur at an a angle not less than 15º; and
184.108.40.206 the initial metacentric height GMo should not be less than 0.35 metre.
3.5.3 For Vessels engaged on single or twin boom fishing the values of dynamic stability, righting lever and metacentric height given in sections 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 and 220.127.116.11 respectively shall be increased by 20%.
3.5.4 Structures assumed to contribute to the Vessel’s buoyancy will need to meet construction requirements applicable to an enclosed superstructure.
3.6.1 The lightship weight, vertical centre of gravity (VCG) and longitudinal centre of gravity (LCG) should be determined from the results of an Inclining Test. Guidelines for the procedure on carrying out of an Inclining Test can be found in the Marine Survey Instructions to Surveyors 9 - Instructions for the Guidance of Surveyors on Approvals (MSIS 9), Chapter 1, Annex 3.
3.6.2 An Inclining Test may not produce satisfactory results for Vessels such as multihulls where the VCG is less than one third of the GM over the range of standard operating conditions. In such cases the LCG should be obtained by lightweight check (MSIS 9, Chapter 1, Annex 1) or by weighing with two gauges (e.g. one fore and one aft). The lightship VCG may be obtained by an accurate weight estimate calculation with a suitable margin added, in no case should the lightship VCG be taken below main deck level. Details of the estimated lightship weight, LCG and VCG should be submitted to MCA at an early stage for verification.
3.6.3 The lightship weight may include a margin for growth, up to 5% of the lightship weight at the discretion of MCA, positioned at the LCG and vertical centre of the weather deck amidships or the lightship VCG, whichever is higher. (The lightweight margin should not be used in practice to increase maximum cargo-deadweight).
3.6.4 For any New Vessel (2021) identical to a sister ship or with known differences from a sister ship, a detailed weights and centres calculation to adjust the lead ship’s lightship properties should be carried out.
18.104.22.168 The lightship properties for the New Vessel (2021) may be assessed by carrying out a lightweight check. The deviation in lightship displacement should not exceed 2% of the lightship displacement of the sister ship. In addition, the deviation in lightship LCG should not exceed 1% of the LBP of the sister ship LCG. Where the deviation is within these limits the actual lightship weight and LCG derived from the lightship check should be used in conjunction with the higher of either the lead ship’s VCG or the calculated value.
22.214.171.124 Where the deviation exceeds either of these limits, an Inclining Test should be carried out.
126.96.36.199 A sister ship is defined as a ship built under survey to a Recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels, by the same yard from the same plans and within five years of the new ship.
3.6.5 Lightship Particulars shall be repeated at certificate renewal.
3.7.1 For New Vessels (2021) of less than 12m (RL) the requirements for stability are based on the fishing method.
3.7.2 The following types of fishing method shall be deemed Category A and are addressed in section 3.8:
3.7.3 The following types of fishing method shall be deemed Category B and are addressed in section 3.9:
3.7.4 The following types of fishing method shall be deemed Category C and are addressed in section 3.10:
3.7.5 Other types of fishing method not specified above shall be deemed Category A and shall meet the requirements set out in section 3.8 although MCA may decide, on a case by case basis, that any other methods of fishing and unique fisheries should be assigned to either Category B or Category C as appropriate.
3.7.6 Under the following circumstances, New Vessels (2021) of less than 12m (RL) which change their fishing method to a method that they have not previous undertaken must comply with the relevant stability criteria and MCA must be notified:
188.8.131.52 Vessels operating Category B Methods change to Category A methods
184.108.40.206 Vessels operating Category C methods change to Cateogry B or A methods
3.8.1 New Vessels (2021) of less than 12m (RL) that undertake Category A fishing methods must comply with the same requirements as New Vessels (2017) and New Vesels 2018) of 12 metres (RL) to less than 15 metres (LOA) as set out above in sections 3.2 to 3.6.
3.9.1 Vessels to which this section applies have two options for demonstrating suitable stability.
220.127.116.11 Compliance with the requirements of section 3.2 to 3.6 above: or
18.104.22.168 i) Decked Vessels: Maintaining a Freeboard of 300 mm or more, an Offset load Test and, if Single Hull, a Roll Test;
ii) Open Vessels: a positive clear height at side as required by Annex 8, an Offset load Test and, if Single Hull, a Roll Test,
3.9.2 Owners must apply the Wolfson Method as set out in Annex 9 and display the Wolfson Stability Notice in a prominent position on the Vessel. It is not necessary for the mark to be placed on the Vessel. The owner must produce a new Notice if the Vessel’s dimensions are altered.
3.9.3 At each Fishing Vessel Certificate renewal inspection, if the Vessel complies with 22.214.171.124, then the Offset load test and, if single hull, the Roll Test shall be conducted under the same Vessel conditions as the test conducted at its first inspection. The record of the Offset Load Tests and Roll Tests must be readily available for reviewing at inspections. Results of Roll Tests conducted by the owner should be recorded using MSF 1378. Results of Offset Load Tests conducted by the owner should be recorded using MSF 1380. Both MSF 1378 and MSF 1380 are available from Gov.uk.
3.10.1 The options applicable to Vessels to which this section applies are.
126.96.36.199 Compliance with the requirements of section 3.2 to 3.6 above: or
188.8.131.52 Compliance with the requirements of 3.9 above; or
184.108.40.206 if less than 6m (LOA), be constructed in compliance with ISO 12217-3 and an Offset Load Test or if single hull, a Roll Test ; or
220.127.116.11 if 6m (LOA) to less than 12m (RL), be constructed in accordance with ISO 12217-1 and an Offset Load Test or if single hull, a Roll Test.
3.10.2 Owners must apply the Wolfson Method as set out in Annex 9 and display the Wolfson Stability Notice in a prominent position on the Vessel. It is not necessary for the mark to be placed on the Vessel. The owner must produce a new Notice if the Vessels dimensions are altered.
3.10.3 For Vessels complying with ISO 12217-1 or ISO12217-3, Vessels must be marked demonstrating compliance with the appropriate standard and no modifications to the Vessel must have taken place that will invalidate the certification.
3.10.4 The results of the Offset Load Test or Roll Test must be recorded. At each subsequent Small Fishing Vessel Certificate renewal inspection, the exact same test must be repeated under the same Vessel conditions. The record of Roll Tests or Offset Load Tests, which must be readily available for reviewing at inspections. Results of Roll Tests conducted by the owner should be recorded using MSF 1378. Results of Offset Load Tests conducted by the owner should be recorded using MSF 1380. Both MSF 1378 and MSF 1380 are available from Gov.uk.
3.11.1 Decked Vessels and Open Vessels are to comply with the requirements as set out in Annex 8.
3.11.2 Open Vessels are to be limited in their area of operation to 20 miles from a safe haven and in favourable weather conditions.
3.11.3 Decked Vessels with freeboard less than 300 mm are to be limited in their area of operation to 20 miles from a safe haven and in favourable weather conditions. The minimum freeboard should be at least 200 mm. Vessels with less than 200 mm Freeboard are to be considered Open Vessels [footnote 2].
3.11.4 The freeboard and positive clear height at side must be measured at every renewal inspection and must not be below the minimum levels set out in Annex 8.
3.11.5 Vessels which are accepted by MCA but do not meet the minimum freeboard or positive clear height at side requirements must meet any requirements stipulated by MCA at all times.
3.11.6 All Vessels shall have a notice visible at the helm position stating the limited area of operation, alongside the Wolfson Stability Guidance Notice.
3.12.1 Owners of Vessels to which this section applies of all sizes and fishing methods must apply the Wolfson Method as set out in Annex 9 and display the Wolfson Stability Notice in a prominent position on the Vessel. It is recommended that the Wolfson Freeboard Mark is displayed. The owner must produce a new Notice if the Vessels dimensions are altered.
3.12.2 Vessels to which this section applies must also conduct a Roll Test or Heel Test as set out in MGN 503 or any superseding document. Roll Tests should be recorded using MSF1378 and Heel Tests recorded using MSF1382. Both forms are available for download from Gov.uk. Multi-hulled Vessels must apply the Heel Test. The results must be recorded. At each subsequent renewal inspection and when any Vessel modifications take place, or the Vessel changes fishing method, the exact same test must be repeated under the exact same condition and the results recorded. Results of Roll Tests conducted by the owner should be recorded using MSF 1378. Results of Heel Tests conducted by the owner should be recorded using MSF 1382. Both MSF 1378 and MSF 1382 are available from the MCA.
3.12.3 Open Vessels are to be limited in their area of operation to 20 miles from a safe haven and in favourable weather conditions.
3.12.4 Decked Vessels with freeboard less than 300 mm are to be limited in their area of operation to 20 miles from a safe haven and in favourable weather conditions. The minimum freeboard should be at least 200 mm. Vessels with less than 200 mm Freeboard are to be considered Open Vessels [footnote 3].
3.12.5 The Freeboard and positive clear height at side will be measured at every renewal inspection and must not be below the the minimum levels set out in Annex 8.
3.12.6 Vessels which are accepted by MCA but do not meet the minimum freeboard or positive clear height at side requirements must meet any requirements stipulated by MCA at all times and will be measured at each renewal inspection.
3.12.7 Vessels to which this section applies that carry out modifications, alterations or change fishing method to one that it has not previously been undertaken, as set out in section 1.9 above, must inform MCA to seek approval and, comply with the relevant stability requirements applicable to New Vessels (2021) employing the proposed Category of fishing indicated in section 3.7. This must be complied with regardless of the fishing methods the Vessel currently undertakes.
3.12.8 Any Vessels that were registered before 6 September 2021 but subsequently deregister and remain off the Register for six months or more must comply with the requirements for New Vessels (2021) when rejoining the Register.
3.13.1 The fishing method(s) of the Vessel shall be recorded on the Small Fishing Vessel Certificate. If the Vessel changes its method of fishing without informing MCA and/or the stability requirements appropriate to the proposed method are not being applied, the Certificate is no longer valid.
3.13.2 A Vessel which operates more than one type of fishing method may have all relevant methods marked on the Certificate.
3.13.3 The Certificate shall also indicate any limitations placed on the area of operation of the Vessel.
3.14.1 Additional Guidance on Stability is contained in MCA publication “FISHING VESSEL STABILITY GUIDANCE” available from by quoting MCA/263 or can be downloaded from www.gov.uk/government/publications/fishing-vessel-stability-guidance.
This Chapter sets out the minimum requirements for Machinery and Electrical Installations, so that the risk of breakdown, fire or other incidents involving machinery or electrics are addressed
4.1.1 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter
• Sections 4.2.3 to 4.2.8, 4.2.10 to 4.2.12, 4.3.4, 4.3.5, 4.4, 4.5.3, 4.5.5, 4.6.2 to 4.6.5, 4.7, 18.104.22.168, 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199 to 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11, 4.8.4, 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124, 4.9.2 and 4.9.3.
4.1.2 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter
• Sections 4.2.3 to 4.2.8, 4.2.10, 4.2.11, 4.2.13, 4.3.6, 4.4, 4.5.3, 4.6.5, 4.7, 126.96.36.199, 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206 to 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124, 126.96.36.199, 4.9.2 and 4.9.3.
4.2.1 All Vessels which fit a replacement engine must consult with MCA in accordance with section 1.9. In accordance with MARPOL Annex VI, ships which operate in IMO designed NOx Emission Control Areas are required to have an engine which meets the IMO MARPOL Annex VI Tier III standard. To meet this requirement, all Vessels which fit a newly manufactured engine of over 130kW must obtain a EIAPP Certificate and associated technical file. Further details can be found in MSN 1819 Amendment No.1 The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008. The North Sea and Baltic Sea Emission Control Areas (ECA) require engines of 130 kW and above from 1 January 2021 to be of Tier III standard. For further details of requirements see the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008 (S.I. 2008/2924). See also MGN 647 - Alternative to the IMO MARPOL Annex VI Tier III Standard Engine.
4.2.2 When any Vessel is being modified, then the modifications must be in accordance with a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels. Other installations proposed that are not covered by a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels may be specially considered on a case by case basis, provided that full information is presented to and approved by the relevant body responsible for issuing a Certificate of Construction. Attention is drawn to Chapter 11 - Clean Seas, regarding prevention of pollution.
4.2.3 Machinery and pressure vessels shall be of a design and construction adequate for the service for which they are intended (fit for purpose) and be efficiently installed (taking into account the manufacturer’s guidance) and protected, including the use of effective guards protecting moving parts so as to minimise any danger to persons on board.
4.2.4 Ancillary equipment and piping must be in accordance with the appropriate part of the Code. In particular, care should be exercised when accessing the bilge area when shafts are rotating.
4.2.5 Layout and installation of machinery spaces and propulsion machinery should be designed for safe and efficient operation.
4.2.6 Lighting should be designed to facilitate easy inspection.
4.2.7 Access ladders should be of metal such as steel where practicable and securely fixed to the Vessel’s permanent structure.
4.2.8 Floor plates, where fitted, should be non-slip and securely fastened with accessible fasteners.
4.2.9 New Vessels (2021) must be built and maintained to the standards contained in a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels, and with the requirements stated in this Chapter.
4.2.10 The Vessel machinery and electrical arrangements should be maintained in such a manner as to be in accordance with the construction standard applicable at the time of construction. (see section 188.8.131.52 – Note vessels may have been built to a Construction Standard prior to 16 July 2007. If a Vessel was constructed to a Construction Standard prior to 16 July 2007 then the requirements of this section also apply). Where the Vessel was constructed to standards which did not set out requirements, or standards did not exist, the arrangement of an Existing Vessel is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose
4.2.11 Where the Vessel was accepted for Registration following a Registration Survey, then where the Vessel did not meet the requirements of this Chapter, it must be maintained to the requirements placed on it by MCA for first registration.
4.2.12 Ventilation should be provided either by mechanical fans or natural vents to meet the air requirements of the propulsion machinery and to prevent build-up of fumes or excessive heat.
4.2.13 Where the Vessel was constructed to standards which did not require ventilation, or standards did not exist, the arrangement of an Existing Vessel is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
4.3.1 Flexible sections of piping must be fitted when the engine or systems are repaired or replaced, provided that the existing installation is sound and efficient and is safe in use. Flexible shaft couplings must be in a sound condition and suitable for the power being transmitted.
4.3.2 A Vessel fitted with an inboard engine must have adequate means and power for going astern in order to maintain control of the Vessel in all foreseeable circumstances.
4.3.3 On New Vessels (2021), flexibly mounted engines should be fitted with short flexible connections of an appropriate type, fitted to associated piping and exhaust systems.
4.3.4 Propulsion engines and associated stern gear must be of a design, type and rating to suit the design and size of the Vessel taking account of the Vessels history, operating conditions and area of operation. Inboard-mounted engines should be diesel powered for use with fuel oil having a flash point greater than 60ºC.
4.3.5 The propeller shaft and any intermediate shaft, together with the stern tube, bearings and bushes, must be in a sound condition and operate efficiently. Shaft materials and diameter should be suitable for the power being transmitted. Inboard-mounted stern glands must be accessible for adjustment.
4.3.6 Where the Vessel was constructed to standards which did not require propulsion machinery or stern gear arrangements or standards did not exist, the arrangement of an Existing Vessel is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
4.4.1 A secondary means of being able to start the propulsion should be provided in the event of failure of the normal means. For Vessels fitted with two means of propulsion (i.e. twin outboard/inboard engines) then, provided each means is independently provided with fuel, cooling and a means of starting, should one means of propulsion fail the other can be considered as a secondary means.
4.5.1 The controls and instrumentation systems as fitted will generally be accepted, provided that the systems are in a good state of repair and operate satisfactorily.
4.5.2 When fitting a new engine, propulsion engines fitted below deck in a machinery space and arranged for remote operation from the wheelhouse or helm position must be provided, on or adjacent to the engine, with arrangements or mechanism for stopping the engine. Alarms on new engines shall be audible and visual at the control station.
4.5.3 High water temperature and low lubricating oil pressure alarms shall be fitted, where practicable and when a new engine is fitted.
4.5.4 Alarms on New Vessels (2021) shall be audible and visual at the control station.
4.5.5 Propulsion engines fitted below deck in a machinery space and arranged for remote operation from the wheelhouse or helm position must be provided, on or adjacent to the engine, with arrangements or mechanism for stopping the engine.
4.6.1 The steering system must operate efficiently and be well maintained. The steering gear, including bearings and rudder stock, must be of sound and efficient construction, and suitable for the size and power of the Vessel.
4.6.2 Vessels fitted with motorised or hand hydraulic, chain, cable, or mechanical steering must be provided with an alternative and safely accessible means of steering which will operate if the main system fails.
4.6.3 The main control or helm position must be located such that the person operating the steering gear has a clear view for the safe navigation of the Vessel - see MGN 313(F).
4.6.4 All parts of mechanical linkages of rod and chain should be accessible with adequate lubrication arrangements provided.
4.6.5 Where the Vessel was constructed to standards which did not require steering system arrangements or standards did not exist, the arrangement of an Existing Vessel is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
4.7.1 Refrigerating plants shall be of a design and construction adequate for the service for which they are intended and shall be so installed and protected as to reduce to a minimum any danger to persons on board. Refrigerant detection sensors, compatible with the refrigerant being used, should be fitted (where practicable and available).
4.7.2 Ammonia, methyl chloride or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs, with ozone depleting potential higher than 5% of CFC-11) shall not be used as refrigerants.
4.7.3 Where refrigerating plants are installed they shall be maintained in an efficient working condition; maintained and examined at regular intervals.
4.7.4 The compartment in which refrigeration machinery is fitted should be adequately ventilated and illuminated. Where fitted, both the supply and exhaust fans to and from compartments in which refrigeration machinery is situated should be kept running at all times. Inlets and outlets should be kept unobstructed. When there is any doubt as to the adequacy of the ventilation, a portable fan or other suitable means should be used to assist in the removal of toxic gases from the immediate vicinity of the machine.
4.7.5 Should it be known or suspected that the refrigerant has leaked into any compartments, no attempt should be made to enter those compartments until a responsible officer, being a person with sufficient theoretical knowledge and practical experience to make an informed assessment of the likelihood of a dangerous atmosphere being present or subsequently arising in the space, including taking measurements of the atmosphere, has been advised of the situation. If it is necessary to enter the space, the procedures for entry into dangerous (enclosed) spaces should be followed (see Chapter 15 of the Code of Safe Working Practices Entering dangerous (enclosed) spaces www.gov.uk/government/publications/code-of-safe-working-practices-for-merchant-seafarers-coswp).
4.7.6 Where a leakage of refrigerant gases is detected, the Owner shall ensure that the equipment is repaired without undue delay. Where the equipment is subject to leak checks, and a leak in the equipment has been repaired, the Owner shall ensure that the equipment is checked by a certified or competent person within one month after the repair to verify that the repair has been effective.
4.7.7 No one should undertake work on refrigeration machinery or associated systems without first informing the Owner or Skipper or having completed a permit to work, as part of the risk assessment process.
4.7.8 Persons charging or repairing refrigeration plants should fully understand the precautions to be observed when handling the refrigerant and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should be worn when undertaking any task involving the handling of chemicals. Adequate information should be available on each Vessel, laying down the operation and maintenance safeguards of the refrigeration plant, the particular properties of the refrigerant and the precautions for its safe handling.
4.7.9 Relevant qualifications are required to: install new systems, service and maintain systems, check for leaks, recover gases, decommission and dispose of old systems.
184.108.40.206 The electrical arrangements shall be such as to minimise the risk of fire and electric shock. The installation shall also be designed and constructed so as to ensure the proper functioning of all equipment necessary to maintain the Vessel in normal operational and living conditions without recourse to an emergency power supply.
220.127.116.11 Where the Vessel was constructed to standards which did not set out requirements for electrical installations, or standards did not exist, the arrangement is acceptable provided that such arrangement continues to remain fit for purpose.
18.104.22.168 When installing new electrical equipment, wiring and circuits, the requirements of the recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels shall be complied with. Detailed guidance on the design and installation of electrical equipment is also given in the following documents. Where practicable, the following requirements should be followed when rewiring or fitting additional circuits and equipment:
i) BS 8450 Code of Practice for the Installation of Electrical and Electronic Equipment in Ships
ii) BS 6883 (1999), Specification for elastomer insulated cables for fixed wiring in Vessels. (Suitable for lighting, power, control, instrumentation and propulsion circuits).
iii) IEC 600 92-350, Low voltage shipboard power cables. (General construction and test requirements for shipboard cables with copper conductors intended for low voltage power systems at voltages up to and including 0.6/1kV).
iv) ISO 10133, Small Craft – Electrical systems – Extra low voltage DC installations.
v) ISO 13297, Small Craft – Electrical systems – Alternating current installations.
vi) BS EN 28846, Small Craft – Electrical devices – Protection against ignition of surrounding flammable gases.
22.214.171.124 Protection against water ingress must be provided and the effects of vibration minimised.
126.96.36.199 Main and emergency switchboards shall be suitably guarded and comply with the recognised Construction and Outfit Standards in place at the time of Construction.
188.8.131.52 Switchboards shall be arranged to provide easy access without danger to any person, adequate non-conducting mats or gratings provided and exposed parts that may have a voltage between conductors or to earth exceeding 55 volts shall not be installed on the face of any switchboard or control panel.
184.108.40.206 Tanks, machinery or other metallic objects that can provide an electric shock exceeding 55 volts shall have special earthing arrangements,
220.127.116.11 Switchboards shall be clearly marked; fuse boxes and fuse holders shall be checked at regular intervals to ensure that the correct rating of fuse is being used. Differing voltages should not be included in any one distribution board.
18.104.22.168 All circuits except the main supply from the battery to the starter motor and electrically driven steering motors, shall be provided with electrical protection against overload and short circuit, (i.e., circuit breakers shall be installed). Short circuit protection shall be for not less than twice the total rated current load in the circuit protected.
22.214.171.124 Steering motors should have an overload alarm in lieu of overload protection. Short circuit protection should before not less than twice the total rated current of the steering motors in the circuit protected.
126.96.36.199 Cables which are not provided with electrical protection should be kept as short as possible and be “short circuit proofed”, e.g., single core with an additional insulating sleeve over the insulation of each core. Normal marine cable (e.g., in compliance with BS 6883) which is single core will meet this recommendation without an additional sleeve, since it has both conductor insulation and a sheath.
188.8.131.52 In the event of failure of engine and charging systems, the battery capacity must be able to supply the emergency lights for at least one hour.
184.108.40.206 The electrical generating system must have sufficient capacity in normal running conditions to ensure the correct operation of all safety and navigation equipment including navigation and fishing lights.
220.127.116.11 With regard to existing cable installations and to any additional cables fitted:
i) Cables should not be run below floor plate level except where this is necessary for connections to underwater equipment, etc., in which case the cable should be run in conduit;
ii) Cables running through machinery spaces should not be secured with plastic clips;
iii) Cables running through fish holds should be fitted in conduit and cables should not be secured directly to fuel or oil storage tanks;
iv) Cables should be of the correct current carrying capacity for their application;
v) When selecting cables, particular attention should be given to environmental factors such as temperature and contact with substances, e.g., polystyrene, which degrades P.V.C. insulation.
18.104.22.168 Vessels should be fitted with an adequate cathodic protection system. Anodes should be efficiently connected to the system and the hull, and not painted over.
22.214.171.124 Before a new installation, or any alteration or addition to an existing installation, is put into service the insulation resistance is to be measured of all circuits and electrical equipment, using a direct current insulation tester.
126.96.36.199 The test shall use an applied voltage of 500 V.d.c for all circuits up to 500 V.d.c or V.a.c. (r.m.s.). For Vessels with systems of 50 volts or less, the insulation resistance shall be at least 0.3 megohm. For Vessels with systems greater than 50 volts, the insulation resistance shall be at least 1.0 megohm.
188.8.131.52 A low voltage instrument operating at twice the minimum voltage may be used for testing to avoid the possibility of damage. In this case the insulation resistance shall be at least 1.0 megohm.
184.108.40.206 Electrical systems insulation testing shall be conducted on a routine basis at renewal inspections. The condition of the electrical cables and the insulation material shall also be visually checked.
220.127.116.11 Insulated neutral distribution systems shall be continuously monitored by suitable means.
18.104.22.168 The battery installation and ventilation should be in accordance with IEE Wiring Regulations.
22.214.171.124 Systems should be two wire.
126.96.36.199 Existing earthing systems, where these are required, will be accepted provided that the system is sound and efficient and that no danger to the system or Vessel may occur. Hull earth plates, if fitted, must be efficiently connected and not painted over.
188.8.131.52 Batteries should be in good condition, secured, protected from short circuiting and overloading, and should be sited clear of heat sources.
184.108.40.206 A battery cut-off switch double pole type should be fitted at each battery or bank. Systems such as automatic bilge pumps or alarms for when the Vessel is unattended should be connected before the cut-off switch.
220.127.116.11 Cables for A.C. systems must be kept separate from D.C. systems.
18.104.22.168 Switchgear for A.C. systems must be fitted in switchboards and panels which are separate from those containing D.C. systems. Systems and equipment must be clearly marked.
22.214.171.124 Switchgear and sockets must be so arranged as to prevent the fitting of low voltage equipment and lamps into high voltage systems.
126.96.36.199 Sight glasses, contents gauges or sounding pipe arrangements are to be fitted to all fuel tanks. Where sight glasses are fitted they are to be adequately guarded and fitted with spring loaded isolating valves or other approved positive shut-off device, so that in the event of a breakage, only the contents of the glass can spill.
188.8.131.52 Fuel tanks shall be secured against movement.
184.108.40.206 A readily accessible shut-off valve shall be installed in the supply line at the tank connection.
220.127.116.11 Tanks shall be in accordance with the construction standards applicable at the time of construction.
18.104.22.168 Tanks on Existing Vessels will generally be accepted provided that they are of sound and efficient construction and safe in operation.
22.214.171.124 Piping systems should be of sound construction, in a good state of repair and suitable for the service intended. Flexible connections should be of an appropriate armoured fire-resistant metallic hose with screwed fittings and kept as short as practicable.
126.96.36.199 Provided that the piping and fittings are of sound construction and efficient in operation, the cooling water system fitted will be accepted until such time as the system is renewed or the Vessel is re-engined, when the requirements of a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels must be applied.
4.10.1 All Decked Vessels must have bilge pumping arrangements which comply with the requirements of the construction standards in force at the time of build.
4.10.2 Regular cleaning of bilges is required. Cleaning of bilges must comply with the requirements of MARPOL (see Chapter 11).
4.10.3 On all Open Vessels where the bilge is not visible there must also be an efficient bilge pumping arrangement fitted to that space. Automatic bilge pumps are not allowed in machinery spaces or in bilges spaces which do contain, or could contain noxious liquids or oils.
4.10.4 Where standards do not exist the bilge pumping arrangements must be fit for purpose
4.11.1 In all Decked Vessels, a bilge alarm system is to be fitted with audible and visible indication at helm/control position. Bilge level sensors are to be fitted in the machinery space and fish room/hold. In all Vessels sensors shall also be fitted in any compartment which has a bilge suction if the level of bilge water cannot be readily checked visually without entering the compartment.
4.12.1 For Vessels built since 1 April 2001 these shall be in accordance with the requirements of a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels in force at the time. Vessels built before 1 April 2001 shall carry a suitable means of anchoring and chain cable or warp of a length suitable for the intended area of operation, attached and ready for use.
4.13.1 All Vessels must be provided with a means of being towed.
4.14.1 Operations such as towing impose great loads on ropes, warps, gear and equipment. MGN 592 – Mooring, Towing or Hauling Equipment on All Vessels – Safe Installation and Safe Operation provides updated advice on the safe installation, maintenance and use of mooring, towing and hauling equipment.
This Chapter sets out the minimum requirements for fire protection, detection and exinction so that the risk of a fire is reduced and that should a fire start, it is found and there is the necessary equipment available and in the right place to fight the fire.
5.1.1 “Non-combustible material” means material that neither burns nor gives off flammable vapours in sufficient quantity for self-ignition when heated to a temperature of 750°C, this being determined in accordance with the IMO Fire Test Procedures Code. Any other material is a combustible material.
5.2.1 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter:
5.2.2 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter:
5.3.1 Where Vessels are being modified, then the modifications must be in accordance with a recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels.
5.3.2 New Vessels (2021) must be built and maintained to recognised Construction and Outfit Standards for Fishing Vessels and with the requirements stated in this Chapter.
5.3.3 Existing arrangements will be accepted, subject to the requirements stated in this Chapter as applying to all Vessels.
5.4.1 Glass portlight and deadlight arrangements, if fitted in the boundaries of machinery spaces, will be accepted if they are in a sound condition, but if damaged they must be blanked off.
5.4.2 Cylinders containing flammable, toxic or other dangerous gases, and expended cylinders shall be clearly marked as to their contents and properly stowed and secured on open decks. All valves, pressure regulators and pipes leading from such cylinders shall be protected against damage. Such cylinders may be stowed in compartments that meet the requirements set out in section 5.4.3.
5.4.3 Cylinders and bottles containing flammable, toxic liquids, toxic gases and liquefied gases, other than liquefied petroleum gas shall be stored in compartments having direct access from open decks but must not be stowed in machinery spaces. Such compartments shall have boundary bulkheads constructed from non-combustible materials. Pressure adjusting devices and relief valves, if any, shall exhaust within the compartment. Where boundary bulkheads of such compartments adjoin other enclosed spaces they shall be gas-tight and be provided with ventilation arrangements that are separate from other ventilation systems. Ventilation shall be arranged at high and low levels and the inlets and outlets of ventilators shall be positioned in safe areas and fitted with spark arresters.
5.4.4 The guidance on storage of flammable liquids, dusts, gases and solids can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/fireandexplosion/index.htm
5.4.5 Exhaust pipes and ducts must be adequately insulated to avoid igniting combustible materials and must be protected from damage.
5.5.1 Machinery spaces shall be kept clean, free of rubbish and combustible waste. Bilge levels shall be checked regularly and oily waste and sludge shall be collected and properly disposed of ashore (see also Chapter 11).
5.5.2 Any oil leakage from machinery, fuel or lubricating oil systems shall be promptly identified and rectified.
5.6.1 Fitted appliances that are purchased shall meet the latest standards and be suitable for use on boats and be installed by qualified persons, such as a Gas Safe registered engineer. All appliances shall be maintained and serviced regularly (at least annually) by qualified persons, such as a Gas Safe registered engineer. Repairs shall only be undertaken using proprietary components. Vents and flues shall be checked for damage and blockages.
5.6.2 Appliances must not be positioned close to engines and fuel tanks.
5.6.3 All types of stoves and heating appliances must be strongly secured to the surrounding structure.
5.6.4 Curtains or any other suspended textile materials must not be fitted within 600mm of any heating or other appliance.
5.6.5 Materials that are in the vicinity of any cooking appliance shall be non-combustible, except that combustible materials may be employed when these are faced with stainless steel or a similar non-combustible material.
5.6.6 Wherever possible, electrically powered cooking equipment shall be provided in preference to open flame types.
5.6.7 Curtains, towel rails, hooks and similar arrangements shall be kept well clear of the cooking area.
5.6.8 Electric stoves and other cooking appliances shall be fitted with an isolation switch outside the galley space.
5.7.1 Vessels are required to carry the following equipment:
188.8.131.52 Open Vessels less than 7m (RL)
i) 1 fire bucket and lanyard;ii) 1 fire blanket (light duty) in galley or cooking area (if applicable); iii) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher for oil fires (fire rating 5A/34B) if Vessel has in-board engine or auxiliary engine (extinguisher should be capable of dealing with all fire types, including hydrocarbons);
184.108.40.206 Open Vessels 7m (RL) to less than 12m (RL)
i) 1 fire blanket (light duty) in galley or cooking area (if applicable); ii) 1 fire pump and hose or 1 fire bucket and lanyard;iii) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher (fire rating 5A/34B); iv) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher for oil fires (fire rating 13A/113B).
220.127.116.11 Open Vessels 12m (RL) to less than 15m (LOA)
i) 1 fire blanket (light duty) in galley or cooking area (if applicable); ii) 1 fire pump and hose or 1 fire bucket and lanyard;iii) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher (fire rating 5A/34B); iv) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher for oil fires (fire rating 13A/113B).
18.104.22.168 Decked Vessels less than 10m (RL)
i) 1 fire blanket (light duty) in galley or cooking area (if applicable) ;ii) fire detectors;iii) 1 fire pump and hose or 1 fire bucket and lanyard;iv) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher (fire rating 5A/34B); v) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher for oil fires (fire rating 13A/113B).
22.214.171.124 Decked Vessels 10m (RL) to less than 15m (LOA)
i) 1 fire blanket (light duty) in galley or cooking area (if applicable); ii) fire detectors;iii) 1 fire pump and hose or 1 fire bucket and lanyard;iv) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher (fire rating 5A/34B);v) 1 fixed fire extinguishing system for main engine room;vi) 1 multi-purpose fire extinguisher for oil fires (fire rating 13A/113B).
5.8.1 On Decked Vessels, battery powered fire detectors and alarms may be suitable under certain circumstances where they may be easily audible from the wheelhouse and/or deck and would be assessed on a case by case basis by the surveyor to check their suitability for purpose.
5.8.2 On Decked Vessels, sleeping accommodation, galley, machinery spaces, and any spaces containing open flame devices are to be fitted with efficient fire/smoke detectors to give an audible warning in the space they are protecting and at the helm position.
5.8.3 In essence, a fire detector for engine spaces shall be fit for purpose and may be a combination of smoke and/or optical detectors which can be connected by wire or wirelessly to a similar alarm in the wheelhouse. The wifi connection should be tested.
5.9.1 Fire on board a Vessel can, if it is not controlled, lead to the loss of the Vessel and/or serious injuries. The requirements at section 5.7 above and also set out in Annexes 3.1 to 3.6 below give the minimum requirements for the extinguishers to be carried on Fishing Vessels. When extinguishers are replaced, new extinguishers shall comply with BS EN 3, or the The Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations 2016.
5.9.2 There are two sizes quoted in the section 5.7 above:
5.9.3 The designation gives a measure of the ability of the extinguisher. ‘A’ indicates a wood-based fire; the number indicates fire size which has been used to test the extinguisher. ‘B’ indicates a liquid-based fire; the number indicates the size of fire, which has been used to test the extinguisher.
5.9.4 Where it is not practicable to carry or store a large fire extinguisher, an alternative is to carry a combination of others to make up the required capacity. Add the numbers before the ‘A’ and the ‘B’ together, and if these exceed the total required the extinguishers will provide an equivalent capacity, e.g., two 8A/70B extinguishers would give a capacity of 16A/140B, which is greater than the required 13A/113B.
5.9.5 In any case the minimum acceptable size of extinguisher acceptable would be 5A/34B. A fire may require more than one smaller extinguisher to put it out.
5.9.6 Fire extinguishers shall be serviced and maintained at the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals by a formal service station approved by the manufacturer. In the case of sealed units, these shall be replaced when they reach their expiry date.
5.9.7 Halon, in any form, is not authorised for use.
5.10.1 For Existing Vessels with fixed systems in main engine rooms where the space is never occupied an automatic discharge system may remain acceptable if it is already installed, subject to the agreement of an MCA surveyor, providing that an indication of discharge is given. New Vessels (2007), (2017), (2018) and (2021) are not permitted to have this arrangement and Existing Vessels are not permitted to install such arrangements.
5.10.2 Automatic insert gas aerosol systems are not acceptable when fitted without the ability to make the compartment gastight prior to the release of the agent. AFFF or dry powder systems may be accepted at the discretion of MCA.
5.10.3 For main engine rooms that can be occupied, the system shall be designed and installed in accordance with its manufacturer’s instructions. These spaces shall incorporate an advance warning alarm system, within the space, (audible and visual). The space shall be able to be made gastight to contain the extinguishing agent, and to starve the oxygen supply. Systems fitted shall be based on the class of fire risk.
5.10.4 When installing or changing fixed fire extinguishing systems, MCA shall be informed prior to installation.
5.11.1 Fire buckets shall be heavy duty with a lanyard long enough to reach water. Buckets need not be made of steel but must not deform or break when full.
5.12.1 For the galley or cooking appliance, fire blankets shall be of light duty to BS EN 7944 or a recognised equivalent BS EN 1869.
5.13.1 Fire pumps can be a hand pump or any other pump that supplies water from the sea onto the deck with a hose suitable for fire-fighting purposes. Engine driven pumps are acceptable but are liable to failure in the event of an engine compartment fire. The pumps must be capable of supplying a hose or hoses such that a jet of water can reach any part of the Vessel accessible to the crew.
5.14.1 Emergency routes and exits shall be indicated by signs in accordance with The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 2001 (S.I. 2001/ 3444) (see also section 10.2).
This Chapter sets out the minimum requirements for protecting the crew from accidents through risk assessment and ensuring that in areas where accidents may happen, the risk is reduced through preventative and protective measures.
6.1.1 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter;
6.1.2 The transitional arrangements as set out in section 1.3 of this Code apply to the following sections of this Chapter;
6.2.1 The owner (which includes the manager if they have assumed responsibility for the operation of the Vessel) has overall responsibility to ensure that the skipper is provided with the necessary resources and facilities to comply with all the relevant Regulations. The owner should set the health and safety policy for the Vessel so that the skipper is clear what is expected. The owner’s responsibility extends to all crew, whether they are employed or share fishermen. See also Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessel (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997 (S.I.1997/2962) as amended by The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) (Consequential Provisions) Regulations 2018 (S.I. 2018/1109) and MGN 587(F).
6.2.2 While the owner always has overall responsibility, it is recognised that if they are not onboard their Fishing Vessel, they may have limited control of day to day activities. The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997 (S.I.1997/2962) provide that responsibility for health and safety also rests with any person who is in control of any particular matter. This will most likely be the skipper in respect of day to day running of the Vessel.
6.2.3 The skipper therefore has responsibility for the safety of crew on board the Vessel and the safe operation of the Vessel. In fulfilling their responsibility MCA expects skippers to:
126.96.36.199 provide supervision to ensure that crew work safely at all times;
188.8.131.52 manage crew in a manner which respects safety and health, including prevention of fatigue;
184.108.40.206 arrange regular onboard occupational safety and health awareness training; and
220.127.116.11 ensure compliance with safety of navigation, watchkeeping and associated good seamanship standards.
6.2.4 The crew shall be given training and instructions on health and safety matters on board Fishing Vessels, and in particular, on accident prevention.
6.2.5 The skipper must not be constrained by the owner from taking any decision which, in the professional judgement of the skipper, is necessary for the safety of the Vessel and its safe navigation and safe operation, of the safety of the crew on board.
6.3.1 The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations (S.I. 1997/2962) require employers and owners to make a suitable and sufficient assessment of the risks to the health and safety of crew, whether employed, engaged or working in any capacity (except persons solely engaged as pilots) arising in the normal course of their activities or duties. Guidance on these Regulations and on the principles of risk assessment is contained in MGN 587 (M&F).
6.3.2 A risk assessment is intended to be a careful examination of the Vessel’s procedures or operations which could cause harm, so that decisions can be made as to whether adequate control measures are in place to reduce those risks to an acceptable level or whether more shall be done.
6.3.3 The risk assessment shall first identify the hazards that are present and then establish whether a hazard is significant and whether it is already covered by satisfactory precautions to control the risk, including consideration of the likelihood of the failure of those precautions that are already in place.
6.3.4 The risk assessment must also be reviewed regularly, (at least annually) to ensure that it remains appropriate to the Vessel’s fishing method and operation and amended if necessary. If there has been a change of fishing method or of operational practice, or an injury or incident, the risk assessment must also be reviewed accordingly.
6.3.5 The risk assessment of a Vessel is particular to each employer or owner. When a Vessel is sold, the new employer or owner must complete, or arrange the completion of a new risk assessment.
6.3.6 All members of the crew shall be informed of all measures to be taken regarding health and safety on board the Vessel. Such information must be easily understood and promulgated for all to see by the employer or owner. All members of the crew must sign the risk assessment to agree it has been understood.
6.3.7 Where risks to the health and safety of the crew cannot be prevented or sufficiently controlled by collective or technical means of protection, they must be provided with personal protective equipment.
6.3.8 Personal protective equipment in the form of clothing or over clothing shall be in bright colours, contrasting with the marine environment and clearly visible. The requirements of The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/2205), MSN 1870 and MGN 331 shall be complied with.
6.4.1 In accordance with the guidance in MGN 588 (F), unless measures are in place which eliminate the risk of crew falling overboard, all crew must be provided with and must wear, Personal Floatation Devices or lifelines and safety harnesses fitted and tethered in such a way as to prevent going overboard. The risk assessment must also take account whether a person is conscious or unconscious if they enter the water, the crew’s training in recovering a person, the equipment in place to recover a person who is either conscious or unconscious and any other factors that may arise. The measures eliminating the risk of man overboard and for recovering a person must be documented in risk assessment. The risk assessment documenting how man overboard and recovery is addressed must be written. MGN 571 contains guidance on preventing man overboard. The following is provided as guidance on Personal Floatation Devices and lifejackets. Further guidance is provided in sections 7.4 and 7.5.
6.4.2 In the event of an abandon ship scenario, individuals should, if time permits, remove their Personal Floatation Devices and don the Statutory lifejacket provided on the Vessel, which will offer them a higher level of buoyancy than their Personal Floatation Device and a greater chance of survival.
6.5.1 Owners and skippers shall also comply with MGN 591 Provision of Safe Means of Access to Fishing Vessels and Small Vessels in Ports.
6.6.1 MGN 596 (F) provides guidance on the contents of the voluntary Fishing Safety Management Code (FSM) and how to ensure it remains relevant to a Vessel or company as things change over time.
6.6.2 The FSM itself provides guidance on the documentation required and means for ensuring owners are reminded to take action to check equipment, service it or carry out maintenance, and assist in complying with their statutory safety obligations.
6.6.3 The FSM provides a system on which Vessels can create safe working procedures and practices.
6.6.4 It is recognised that there are a wide variety of Fishing Vessels, undertaking a wide variety of fishing with different methods of operation. The purpose of the FSM is to establish a common structure which everyone can use to develop a safety management system specific to their Vessel.
6.6.5 A documented safety management system can help demonstrate that Vessels comply with their statutory requirements at all times, and with the requirements of ILO188 The Work in Fishing Convention.
6.6.6 Documentation that should be developed and records maintained include:
18.104.22.168 the safety management manual;
22.214.171.124 company safety and environment policies;
126.96.36.199 all crew certification and training records;
188.8.131.52 planned maintenance system;
184.108.40.206 vessel operation (operating procedures and the risk assessment);
220.127.116.11 testing/certification relating to the lifesaving appliances and fire-fighting equipment;
18.104.22.168 accident and incident reports and any remedial actions taken thereof;
22.214.171.124 evidence of reviews of your safety management system, self-audit reports and close outs thereof;
126.96.36.199 environmental management and pollution prevention;
188.8.131.52 records of drills and safety training.
6.7.1 Suitable means for detecting the leakage of gas (i.e., liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), butane, propane or other flammable gases) shall be provided in any compartment containing a gas-consuming appliance or in any adjoining space or compartment into which the gas, of greater density than air, may seep.
6.7.2 Gas detector heads shall be securely fixed in the lower part of the compartment in the vicinity of the gas-consuming appliance and other space(s) into which gas may seep. In areas where the detector head is susceptible to damage in the lowest part of the compartment (e.g., engine space bilge) the detector head shall at least be fitted below the lowest point of ignition.
6.7.3 The detection system shall incorporate a visible and audible alarm, which can be heard in the space concerned and the control position with the Vessel in operation.
6.7.4 The detection system shall be capable of being tested and be tested on a regular basis whilst the Vessel is in service and shall include a test of the detector head operation as well as the alarm circuit, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
6.7.5 The detection equipment shall be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements and checked that it is operational as part of the Vessel’s regular maintenance regime.
6.7.6 A suitable notice, detailing the action to be taken when an alarm is given by the gas detection system, shall be displayed prominently in the Vessel.
6.8.1 In all Vessels, Carbon Monoxide alarms shall be installed in every space on all Vessels that have enclosed spaces that contain fired cooking or heating appliances and where an engine exhaust penetrates through the wheelhouse or accommodation space. Fired appliances apply to, but may not be limited to, appliances fired by LPG, diesel or paraffin. Carbon Monoxide alarms are not required when heating or cooking is undertaken using electrical cookers or heaters.
6.8.2 Carbon Monoxide alarms shall be of the lithium battery type and installed, regularly tested, maintained and replaced in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidance.
6.8.3 Signs of Carbon Monoxide include:
staining, sooty smears or discolouration of surfaces around an appliance or its flue;
appliances that are difficult to light, keep lit or burn weakly;
burners with yellow or orange or “floppy” flames that threaten to go out;
an unfamiliar or burning smell when an LPG or oil appliance is on;
smelling engine exhaust fumes regularly inside the space.[footnote 4]
6.8.4 Carbon Monoxide alarms are a useful back-up precaution but must not be regarded as a substitute for proper installation and maintenance of gas equipment by a Gas Safe registered engineer. When you buy a Carbon Monoxide alarm, ensure it meets current safety standards (BS EN 50291-2) and carries the Kitemark. Vessels which carry Carbon Monoxide alarms meeting BS EN 50291-1 should replace the alarm with an alarm meeting BS EN50291-2 when the Carbon Monoxide alarm requires replacement.
6.9.1 New Vessels (2021) must comply with a Recognised Construction and Outfit Standard for Fishing Vessels.
6.9.2 The perimeter of an exposed deck should be fitted with bulwarks, guard rails or guard wires of sufficient strength and height for the safety of persons on deck; the height of tubular railings and guard wires being not less than 1000mm above the deck (915 mm where already fitted), the lower course of rails or wires having a clearance of not more than 230mm and the remaining courses being evenly spaced. Where there would be unreasonable interference with the efficient and safe operation of the Vessel the height may be reduced.
6.9.3 Sections of rails or wires may be portable where necessary for the Vessel’s fishing operations.
6.9.4 Vessels being modified must also comply with a recognised Construction and Outfit Standards for Fishing Vessels.
6.9.4 Access stairways, ladder ways and passageways must be provided with handrails and grab rails for the safety of the crew.
6.10.1 Decks to which the crew are expected to have access must be provided with an adequate non-slip surface or efficient non-slip covering.
6.10.2 Particular attention must be paid to the provision of a non-slip surface to any hatch cover fitted on a working deck.
6.10.3 The exposed bottom boards of open vessels must have a non-slip surface.
6.11.1 Every Vessel that is provided with winches, tackles, hoisting gear shall have such gear properly installed having regard to the intended use of the Vessel.
6.11.2 All hoisting gear, hauling gear and related equipment shall satisfy the requirements of the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/2184) and MGN331 Amendment No.1 as applicable.
6.11.3 All work equipment shall comply with the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Provision and Use of Work Equipment) Regulations 2006 (S.I. 2006/2183) and MGN 332 Amendment No.1.
6.11.4 All equipment used in hoisting/hauling should be used only by a competent person and must be inspected and examined at regular intervals, at least annually, and a written record shall be made of all such tests and examinations.
6.11.5 All parts of hauling gear, hoisting gear, related equipment and all other work equipment must be maintained in good repair and working order.
6.11.6 The controls for the hauling and hoisting gear shall be installed in an area sufficiently large enough to enable operators to work unhindered.
6.11.7 The hauling and hoisting gear shall also have appropriate safety devices for emergencies, including deadman handles and emergency stop facilities.within reach of the equipment operator. A duplicate set of emergency stop facilities is to be provided in the wheelhouse.
6.11.8 The gear operator must have a clear view of the gear and any crew member working near it.
6.11.9 If hauling gear is controlled from the wheelhouse, the operator must also have a clear view of the crew working near the gear, either directly or via any other suitable medium. All operators, in the wheelhouse or on deck shall give exclusive attention to that task and must not carry out other tasks while operating the equipment.
6.11.10 A reliable communications system must be used between the wheelhouse and the working deck and the crew shall be trained in the use of hand signals.
6.11.11 A sharp look out must always be maintained and the crew warned of the imminent danger of heavy oncoming seas during fishing operations or when other work is being undertaken on deck.
6.11.12 Contact with bare ropes and warps and with moving parts of the equipment shall be adequately covered in the risk assessment.
6.11.13 The following control measures shall be installed for restricting moving masses (on Vessels with trawl doors or codends):
184.108.40.206 devices to immobilise the trawl doors;
220.127.116.11 devices to control the swinging motion of the codend.
6.11.14 The crew must be trained in the use of fishing gear and hauling, hoisting and other work equipment.
6.12.1 Heavy items of equipment such as spare fishing gear, net bins, batteries, cooking appliances etc., shall be securely fastened in place to prevent movement due to severe motions of the Vessel.
6.12.2 Stowage lockers containing heavy items shall have lids or doors with secure fastening.
6.13.1 All Vessels must carry a first aid kit which shall contain the requirements to meet Category ‘C’ standard for Vessels staying up to 60 nautical miles from shore and Category ‘B’ for Vessels operating between 60 and 175 nautical miles from the nearest port. MSN 1905 (M+F) provides guidance on the contents which shall be included. Equipment listed in MSN 1905 can be kept in sealed bags or a suitable container.
6.13.1 Any person responsible for medical stores should hold the relevant first aid training.
This Chapter sets out the minimum requirements for life-saving appliances so that in the event of an emergency, the necessary equipment is readily available to help ensure survival.
7.1.1 “Float-free” in relation to life-saving appliances means that method whereby the appliance is automatically released from a sinking Vessel and is ready for use.
7.1.2 ”Retro-reflective material” is a material which reflects in the opposite direction a beam of light directed on it.
7.2.1 Life-saving appliances that are required by this Chapter to be of approved type shall be to the satisfaction of MCA.
7.2.2 Adequate instructions for use shall be provided with each life-saving appliance and also adjacent to its stowage position when appropriate.
7.2.3 Life-saving appliances intended for use in the sea shall be fitted with retro-reflective markings to the satisfaction of MCA.
7.3.1 The following life-saving appliances shall be provided:
7.4.1 Any liferafts which can be demonstrated to have been purchased prior to 23 October 2017 and currently on Fishing Vessels of less than 15m may continue to be used until 23 October 2022, after which, all Vessels required to carry liferafts shall comply with the requirements set out below, subject to the phase out requirements for Offshore Racing Council (ORC) Liferafts in MGN553 or any superseding document.
i) Vessels shall be provided with liferafts of such number and capacity that, in the event of any one liferaft being lost or rendered unserviceable, there is sufficient capacity remaining for all on board; and
ii) the liferafts provided shall;
.a be constructed to the SOLAS standard and to the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations (S.I. 2016/1025) and MSN 1874 (M&F) Marine Equipment - United Kingdom conformity assessment procedures for marine equipment, Other Approval and Standards;
.b have insulated floor and insulated canopy and be equipped with a “SOLAS A PACK “[footnote 5]; and
.c be contained in fibre reinforced plastic (FRP) containers (which may be a suitable container other than a SOLAS container) stowed on the weather deck or in an open space, accessible in all weather conditions and shall be fitted with float-free arrangements (hydrostatic release units) so that the liferafts float-free, inflate and break free automatically.
i) The liferaft requirements apply as they do for Vessels operating 150 miles or more from a safe haven except that, the liferaft need not have an insulated floor or insulated canopy where the Vessel operates exclusively in waters having a temperature of 10° centigrade or higher (see notes). The certification shall clearly show this limitation, or
ii) liferafts built to the ISO 9650 – Small Craft Inflatable Liferafts, Part 1, Type 1, Group A standard, provided the liferaft(s) are fitted with a boarding ramp, are equipped to the level of “SOLAS B PACK”,[footnote 6] which may, where necessary, include a “grab bag” to supplement the equipment integral to the liferaft, and are certificated as compliant with Part 1, Group A and Part 3 of ISO 9650 are acceptable.
iii) the liferaft capacity shall accommodate at least the total number of persons on board.
iv) liferafts shall be contained in FRP containers (which may be a suitable container other than a SOLAS container) stowed on the weather deck or in an open space, accessible in all weather conditions and shall be fitted with float-free arrangements (hydrostatic release units) so that the liferafts float-free, inflate and break free automatically.
i) if operating outside Sea Area A1 (see guidance in Chapter 9 on radio), Vessels shall be provided with liferafts of such number and capacity that, in the event of any one liferaft being lost or rendered unserviceable, there is sufficient capacity remaining for all on board and if operating inside Sea Area A1 shall be provided with liferaft capacity to accommodate at least the total number of persons on board;
ii) the liferaft(s) provided shall be either;
.a constructed to SOLAS standard and to the Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations (S.I. 2016/1025) and MSN1874 (M&F) Marine Equipment - United Kingdom conformity assessment procedures for marine equipment, Other Approval and Standards;
.b have insulated floor and insulated canopy except that the liferaft(s) shall be equipped with “SOLAS B PACK”; or
.c built to the ISO 9650 – Small Craft Inflatable Liferafts, Part 1, Type 1, Group A standard, provided the liferaft(s) are fitted with a boarding ramp; are equipped to the level of “SOLAS B PACK”, which may, where necessary, include a “grab bag” to supplement the equipment integral to the liferaft, and are certificated as compliant with Part 1, Group A and Part 3 of ISO 9650.
iii) liferafts carried in Vessels which operate in up to 60 miles from a safe haven outside the UK Search and Rescue Region, where the sea temperature is less than 10° centigrade, shall have an insulated floor and insulated canopy.
iv) liferafts shall be contained in approved FRP containers stowed on the weather deck or in an open space, accessible in all weather conditions and fitted in a float free arrangement so that the liferafts float-free, inflate and break-free automatically.
v) reference shall also be made to MGN 267 - The Location and Stowage of Liferafts and Emergency Positioning Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) on UK Registered Fishing Vessels.
vi) Vessels operating less than three miles from shore may use open reversible liferafts constructed to SOLAS standard or MED approved. Liferaft(s) shall be equipped to a level equivalent to a “DfT E” pack.[footnote 7] This may, where necessary, include a “grab bag” to supplement the equipment integral to the liferaft.
7.4.2 Liferafts shall be periodically serviced:
18.104.22.168 if SOLAS, in compliance with MGN 548 (M+F) Life-Saving Appliances – Inflatable SOLAS Certificated Liferafts, Lifejackets, Marine Evacuation Systems, and repair of Inflatable Rescue Boats – Servicing Requirements and Approved Service Stations: or
22.214.171.124 if non-SOLAS, in accordance with MGN 553 (M+F) Life-Saving Appliances – Inflatable Non-SOLAS Liferafts, Lifejackets, Marine Evacuation Systems, Danbuoys and Lifebuoys – Technical Standards and Servicing Requirements or any superseding document.
7.4.3 MGN 548 requires that SOLAS certificated inflatable Life-Saving Appliance systems, including liferafts and lifejackets, shall be serviced every 12 months, and every effort shall be made to ensure that this is carried out on time. In exceptional cases, when it is clearly impracticable to comply with this annual servicing requirement, MCA may consider whether the servicing could be deferred for a period not exceeding five months. In such cases, owners or skippers should apply to their local MCA Marine Office, explaining their reason in writing for seeking deferment, using the details at the end of MGN 548. MGN 548 shall be referred to for further information regarding servicing.
7.4.4 MGN 553 requires that, except where MCA requirements require more frequent servicing, non-SOLAS inflatable liferafts accepted on board UK commercial vessels are required to be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions by a service station authorised or approved by the manufacturer of the product. It is recommended that manufacturers and service stations follow the standard in Annex 1 of MGN 553 for conditions of service stations and conduct of servicing for non-SOLAS inflatable liferaft. The exception to this is where a Vessel carries an ORC liferaft ahead of the formal phase out described in section 3.2 of MGN 553, the liferafts must be serviced annually.
7.4.5 Before submitting non-SOLAS inflatable liferafts to a service station, owners and skippers shall check that the station is capable of servicing the particular make and model of equipment by requesting sight of manufacturer accreditation/certification, if necessary to verify the capability of the station to service the raft.
7.4.6 It is recommended that owners or skippers should check that the service station has been approved/accredited (as applicable) by the manufacturer. If in any doubt, owners or skippers should contact the manufacturer to be certain that the authorisation is in place.
7.4.7 During re-installation of liferafts after servicing, service stations and owners/skippers should be mindful of specially configured liferafts. Correct re-installation on the Vessel is paramount for the safe operation in an emergency.
7,4.8 MGN 553 shall be referred to for further information.
7.4.9 Inflatable liferaft hydrostatic release units (other than the types which have a date limited life and are test fired prior to disposal) shall be serviced annually at a service station approved by the manufacturer.
7.4.10 The securing, stowage and launching of liferafts and the fitting of Hydrostatic Release Units shall be in accordance with MGN343 (M&F) Hydrostatic Release Units (HRUs) – Stowage and Float Free Arrangements for Inflatable Liferafts.
7.4.11 To facilitate rapid abandonment in an emergency, where a liferaft “grab bag” is provided, it shall be in an accessible position known to all on board.
7.4.12 Equipment carried in the “grab bag” does not count towards the equipment the Vessel itself must ordinarily carry.
7.5.1 Lifejackets should be MCA or SOLAS and be approved in accordance with The Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations or should comply with BS EN 396 or BS EN ISO 12402 Part 3 or Part 6 for lifejackets of 150N; or BS EN 399 or BS EN ISO 12402 Part 2 for lifejackets of 275N or equivalent ISO/CEN standard
7.5.2 All lifejackets should be fitted with a whistle, retro-reflective materials and a light.
7.5.3 If the lifejackets are the inflatable type, an additional 10% or 2 lifejackets, whichever is the greater, should be provided on Open Vessels of 12m (RL) and over and Decked Vessels of 10m (RL) and over.
7.5.4 Inflatable lifejackets are to be of the compressed gas inflation type, with either manual or automatic inflation, and fitted with oral top up valves. Lifejackets which are inflated orally only are not considered appropriate.
7.5.5 Compressed gas inflatable lifejackets should be serviced to manufacturers’ recommendations. In the intervening years between services they are to be examined annually to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Certification or declaration of servicing must be available for inspection by MCA. As far as is reasonable and practicable, visual examinations should be carried out weekly by the owner to determine whether they are safe to use.
7.5.6 Where a lifejacket is serviced annually this is acceptable as an alternative to the servicing regime prescribed in 7.5.5.
7.5.5 A suitable lifejacket should be provided for each person on board less than 32kg.
7.6.1 A Personal Floatation Device can be a buoyancy aid of at least 150N or a wearable buoyancy device of at least 50N that provides buoyancy in the water. Where applicable, they must comply with the requirements of 7.5 above.
7.6.2 The intended use of a Personal Floatation Device or buoyancy aid is to be constantly worn in the case of falling overboard, rather than for intentionally entering the water or survival craft during an abandon ship scenario. For further details on acceptable Personal Floatation Devices and Buoyancy Aids, see MSN 1870 - The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Personal Protective Equipment) Regulations 1999 and MGN 588 (F) Compulsory Provision and Wearing of Personal Flotation Devices on Fishing Vessels.
7.7.1 Lifebuoys shall be marked with the Vessel name and port of registry or Fishing Vessel number and fitted with reflective tape and may be circular or horseshoe or torpedo in shape.
7.7.2 At least one lifebuoy shall be so placed as to be readily accessible to the persons on board and shall always be capable of being rapidly cast loose and shall not be permanently secured in any way.
7.8.1 Every EPIRB shall:126.96.36.199 be fitted with a float-free arrangement, whose operation will cause it to activate;
188.8.131.52 be stowed in such a position that it is protected from possible damage and is easily removable from its mounting for placing in any survival craft (in accordance with MGN 267(F) - The Location and Stowage of Liferafts and Emergency Positioning Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) on UK Registered Fishing Vessels;
184.108.40.206 have the float-free arrangement routinely replaced or serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
220.127.116.11 have the power source replaced whenever necessary and at least before its expiry date;
18.104.22.168 be registered, in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (EPIRB Registration) Regulations 2000 (S.I. 2000/1850) and Merchant Shipping Notice 1816 (M&F) – Mandatory Registration of Electronic Position indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs);
22.214.171.124 on renewal, conform to IMO MSC 471(101). The Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Directive Declaration of Conformity shall include reference to IEC 61097-2 or EN 300 066 or the Marine Equipment Directive Annex referenced by the Compliance Certificate shall be A.1/5.6; and
126.96.36.199 transmit the position obtained from a built-in GPS receiver to satellite.
For further guidance see MGN 267 - The Location and Stowage of Liferafts and Emergency Positioning Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) on UK Registered Fishing Vessels.
7.8.2 All 406 MHz beacons (EPIRB or personal locator beacon) must be registered. Changes to registered beacons must also be notified. The effectiveness of a 406 MHz beacon as a Search and Rescue (SAR) aid depends upon correct registration details being available to the SAR services. If they are not, there is the potential to jeopardise SAR operations, including looking for the wrong Vessel, or stopping a search because it might appear that the Vessel with which the beacon is registered is not in distress.
7.8.3 The beacon manufacturers normally provide two or more identical registration cards on which Vessel operators shall enter the required details, but these are also available from the Royal Yachting Association (Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) Guidelines), Ofcom registration documentation and from MCA via its website or the EPIRB Registry itself. One is to be returned to the manufacturer as a warranty, while another is sent to the competent authority. Any spare forms shall be retained by the beacon owner.
7.8.4 The completed form or any registration queries shall be sent to:
The UK Beacon Registry The Maritime and Coastguard AgencyMRCC FalmouthCastle DrivePendennis PointFalmouthCornwall TR11 4WZ
Tel: 020 3817 2006
Fax: 01326 319264
Email: [email protected]
Online registration: www.gov.uk/maritime-safety-weather-and-navigation/register-406-mhz-beacons
Office hours: Mon – Thurs: 08:45 – 16:45 Fri: 08:45 – 16:15
Outside office hours or in the case of an alert:
Falmouth Coastguard Operations room: Tel: 01326 317575
The beacon supplier or the EPIRB Registry can assist with the correct completion of the card if assistance is required.
Further details on EPIRB and Personal Locator Beacon Registration are contained in MSN 1816 (M&F) Mandatory Registration of Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs).
7.9.1 Flares and smoke signals shall be be stowed on or near the bridge in a dry and readily accessible location, clearly marked, and comply with Merchant Shipping (Marine Equipment) Regulations (S.I. 2016/1025) and MSN 1874 (M&F) Marine Equipment - United Kingdom conformity assessment procedures for marine equipment, Other Approval and Standards, and within their expiry date. It should be noted that handheld signals burn for approximately 60 seconds, whilst buoyant signals burn for up to three minutes.
7.10.1 If a 406 MHz EPIRB with GPS is carried, then personal locator beacons can either be 406 MHz and comply with EN 302 152 or work on the automatic identification system (AIS). If no EPIRB is carried, then personal locator beacons must be 406MHz and comply with EN 302 152. This is because the EPIRB is considered to be the mandatory equipment and the personal locator beacon is a voluntary addition.
7.10.2 On single handed Vessels, skippers are strongly recommended, if they carry 406 MHz EPIRBs, to also carry and wear 406 MHz personal locator beacons. Other personal locator beacons types may not notify the coastguard of man overboard.
7.10.3 406 MHz personal locator beacons, in addition to complying with EN 302 152, must be registered in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (EPIRB Registration) Regulations (S.I. 2000/1850) and Merchant Shipping Notice 1816 (M&F) – Mandatory Registration of Electronic Position indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs). AIS personal locator beacons need not be registered.
7.10.4 Personal locator beacons should be worn whilst working on the open decks of Fishing Vessels at sea. When not being worn they should be stowed either in a deckhouse or other dry and readily accessible position. Personal locator beacons shall also be maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
7.11.1 Crewed Vessels must have a efficient means of recovering an unconscious person from the water and enable a person in the water to get back on board the Vessel, either by a permanent boarding ladder or means deployable by the crew. Single handed Vessels, must have a means to enable a person in the water to get back on board the vessel. This means must be deployable by a person in the water.
Compliance with this Chapter will ensure that a Fishing Vessel’s crew are aware of the action to take in an emergency to prevent vessel loss and/or ensure crew survival.
8.1.1 Inspections of the life-saving equipment and fire appliances shall be made at intervals of not more than one month.
8.2.1 The skipper and crew shall ensure that they are familiar in the use of all lifesaving and fire appliances and equipment with which the Vessel is provided and shall ensure that all members of the crew know where the equipment is stowed. Related training shall be carried out in man overboard, hull damage/taking water/sinking, fire, collision/grounding, muster and abandon ship drills, held in port or at sea, at intervals of not more than one month. Further information is contained in MGN 570 (F) Fishing Vessels: Emergency Drills. Information on how to prevent man overboard situations occurring is contained in MGN 571 (F) Fishing Vessels: Prevention of Man Overboard
8.2.2 The drills referred to in paragraph 8.2.1 shall ensure that the crew thoroughly understand and are exercised in the duties which they have to perform with respect to the handling and operation of all life-saving, fire-fighting, flooding controls and survival equipment. If a Vessel carries five or more crew, a muster list shall be provided with clear instructions for each member of the crew, which shall be followed in case of emergency. An example Muster List is contained in MGN 570.
8.3.1 The times, dates and particulars of inspections and drills shall be recorded and available for future inspection.
This Chapter sets out the minimum requirements for radio and navigation equipment, to ensure that the Vessel has the necessary equipment to both safely contact shore and other Vessels at all times and to navigate safely.
9.1.1 “Contracting Government” means a signatory to SOLAS.
9.1.2 “CGOCs” means Coastguard Operations Centres.
9.1.3 “DSC” means digital selective calling, being a technique using digital codes which enables a radio station to establish contact with, and transfer information to, another station or group of stations, and complying with the relevant recommendations as specified in MSN 1809 Standards of Performance of Radio Equipment required by the Merchant Shipping (Radio) (Fishing Vessels) Regulations 1999.
9.1.4 “Sea Areas” are defined as follows:
A1 means an area within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one VHF coast station in which continuous DSC alerting is available, as may be defined by a Contracting Government;
A2 means an area, excluding sea area A1, within the radiotelephone coverage of at least one MF coast station in which continuous DSC alerting is available, as may be defined by a Contracting Government;
A3 means an area, excluding sea areas A1 and A2, within the coverage of an INMARSAT geostationary satellite in which continuous alerting is available (76 °N and 76 °S);
A4 means an area outside sea areas A1, A2 and A3.
9.1.5 “INMARSAT” means the Organisation established by the Convention on the International Maritime Satellite Organisation adopted on 3rd September 1976
9.1.6 “INMARSAT geostationary satellite service” means the mobile satellite service provided by INMARSAT through its geostationary satellites;
9.1.7 “MF” means the frequency spectrum between 300 and 3000 kHz;
9.1.8 “MMSI Number” means the Vessels unique Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) (DSC Identifying Code)).
9.2.1 All Vessels must carry a VHF radio (DSC), fixed or hand held. Due to the height of the antennae and the power of the radio hand held radios are usually only suitable for near coastal operation, where contact with a coast radio station is assured at all times. If the Fishing Vessel is not undertaking near coastal operation and can contact a coast radio station at all times, a fixed set permitting coverage throughout Area A1 is to be provided. For Vessels with liferaft(s) there shall be a portable VHF radio for each liferaft.
9.2.2 Vessels operating in Sea Area A2, A3, and A4 are to be equipped according to the relevant part of the Merchant Shipping (Radio) (Fishing Vessels) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/3210).
9.2.3 CGOCs maintain a listening watch on VHF channel 16 via loudspeaker. The primary means of distress and urgency alerting should be via VHF DSC. On MF, the only means of distress and urgency alerting available is via MF DSC.
9.2.4 The CGOCs provide the UK’s Telemedical Advice Service (formerly known as Seafarer Radio Medical Advice Service) for Vessels at sea. To seek medical advice or medical evacuation, call the CGOC on VHF Radio whereupon you will be placed in direct contact with the appropriate medical expertise. This service is free.
9.2.5 The Vessel’s crew shall be familiar in the operation of the hand held VHF and the EPIRB and be trained in the setting up and operation of the portable radio equipment.
9.2.6 The Merchant Shipping (Radio) (Fishing Vessels) Regulations, SI 1999 No. 3210 shall also be complied with.
9.3.1 All Vessels fitted with a radio must have a radio licence, which can be obtained from:
The contact details of the licencing team are:
Spectrum Licensing Riverside House2a Southwark Bridge RoadLondonSE1 9HA
Spectrum LicensingTel: 020 7981 3131 or 0300 123 1000
Fax: 020 7981 3235
Textphone: 020 7981 3043 or 0300 123 2024 - Please note that these numbers only work with special equipment used by people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
E-mail: [email protected]
9.3.2 Failure to obtain a radio licence (which also records the Vessel’s unique MMSI number) may result in the DSC function operating incorrectly in an emergency, as unregistered identifying codes are re-allocated.
9.3.3 Vessels with operational radio kit, for example GMDSS or VHF, must have a person on board with the appropriate operators certificate. Further information on obtaining an operators certificate can be obtained from MCA Seafarer Training and Certification Branch on 023 8032 9231 by email [email protected].
9.4.1 Vessels shall be equipped to enable display of the navigation lights, shapes and sound signals appropriate to all possible modes of operation, in daylight, darkness and in restricted visibility, in accordance with international requirements.
9.4.2 The Vessel details, its call sign and MMSI number shall be readily displayed near the helm to assist the skipper in emergencies.
9.4.3 Reference shall be made to the Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations (S.I. 1996/75) and MSN 1781 (M+F).
9.4.4 MGN 393 (M+F): Navigation Light Units: Maintenance and the Use of New Technology Light Sources, such as Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), as Navigation Lights on SOLAS and non-SOLAS Vessels provides guidance on the requirements and performance standards, for new technology light sources such as LED Lights. In addition, LED lights shall comply with ISO19009.
9.5.1 Every Vessel shall carry a suitable nautical magnetic compass.
9.5.2 Every Vessel constructed of FRP/GRP and wood shall carry a radar reflector. Vessels constructed of other materials shall carry a radar reflector at the discretion of MCA. Vessels shall have, if less than 150gt, and if practicable, a radar reflector or other means to enable detection by ships navigating by radar at both 9 and 3 GHz. Further guidance is contained in MGN 349 (M+F) Carriage of Radar Reflectors on Small Vessels.
9.6.1 Any electronic aids to navigation shall be tested frequently and well maintained. Reference shall be made to MGN 379 – Navigation: Use of Electronic Navigation Aids. This MGN emphasises the need for correct use of navigational equipment by watch-keepers and in particular to:
188.8.131.52 be aware that each item of equipment is an aid to navigation;
184.108.40.206 be aware of the factors which affect the accuracy of position fixing systems;
220.127.116.11 appreciate the need to cross check position fixing information using other methods;
18.104.22.168 recognise the importance of the correct use of navigational aids and knowledge of their limitations;
22.214.171.124 be aware of the dangers of over-reliance on the output from, and accuracy of, a single navigational aid.
9.7.1 Vessels must either carry a set of Admiralty charts to cover all areas of operation, with corrections, or meet:
MGN293 (M+F) Alternative Arrangements for Meeting Paper Chart Carriage Requirements on MCA Code Vessels under 24 metres in Length and Fishing Vessels under 24 metres in Length.; or
MGN319 (M+F) Acceptance of Electronic Chart Plotting Systems for Fishing Vessels Under 24 metres and Small Vessels in Commercial Use (Code Boats) up to 24 Metres Load Line Length.
9.7.2 Where Admiralty charts are carried, the charts to be carried shall be those:
126.96.36.199 that are of such a scale and which contain sufficient detail as clearly to show:
i) all navigation marks that may be used by a Vessel when navigating the waters that are comprised in the chart;
ii) all known hazards affecting those waters; and
iii) any information concerning traffic separation schemes, two-way routes, recommended tracks, inshore traffic zones and deep water routes applicable to those waters, as well as areas that are to be avoided;
188.8.131.52 that are either published by the Hydrographer of the Navy or any authority in any country other than the United Kingdom duly exercising functions similar to those of the Hydrographer of the Navy, and are of a similar scale and contain equivalent detail; and
184.108.40.206 which, in all cases, are of the latest available edition and have been adequately corrected.
9.8.1 Every New Vessel (2021) shall be so constructed that the person steering has a clear view to the sea surface, 90 metres ahead, when at the principal steering position from within the wheelhouse.
9.8.2 Further guidance is contained in MGN314 (F): Fishing Vessels: Wheelhouse visibility onboard Fishing Vessels.
Compliance with this Chapter will ensure the requirements of the Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) Regulations 2018 (S.I. 2018/1106) are met in respect of crew accommodation. However the requirements of the ILO 188 Work in Fishing Convention extend beyond crew accommodation requirements and include the Regulations and MSNs as follows:
The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) Regulations (S.I. 2018/1106) as amended by S.I 2020/1166;
The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention)(Survey and Certification) Regulations (S.I. 2018/1107);
The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention)(Medical Certification) Regulations (S.I. 2018/1108);
The Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention)(Consequential Provisions) Regulations (S.I. 2018/1109);
MSN 1891 (F) - ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007: List of Crew (Amendment 1)
MSN 1890 (M+F) - The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) Regulations 1997 and the MLC (Medical Certification) Regulations 2010 New and Expectant Mothers (Amendment 2)
MSN 1886 (M+F) - Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 - Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 (ILO No.188) - Appointment of Approved Doctors and Medical and Eyesight Standards (Amendment 1)
MSN 1885 (F) - ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 - Survey and Inspection
MSN 1884 (F) - International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188) - Working Time - Application of the Fishing Vessels (Working Time - Sea-Fishermen) Regulations 2004 as Amended
MSN 1883 (F) - Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188) Medical Examination and Certification for Fishermen - Application of the Merchant Shipping (Work in Fishing Convention) (Medical Certification) Regulations 2018
MSN 1882 (F) - ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 - Implementation of EC Directive 94/33 - Minimum Age and Protection for Young Persons on Fishing Vessels
MGN 620 (F) - International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188) - Recruitment and Placement of Fishermen
MGN 619 (F) - Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment) Regulations 2006 (LOLER) and the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Provision and Use of Work Equipment) Regulations 2006 (PUWER)
MGN 605 (F) - International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188) Phase in Period
MGN 595 (F) - ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 - Provision of Food and Water
MGN 589 (F) - International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188): Complaints
MGN 588 (F) - Compulsory Provision and Wearing of Personal Flotation Devices on Fishing Vessels
MGN 587 (F) - International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188): Health and Safety - Responsibilities of Fishing Vessel Owners, Managers, Skippers and Fishermen (Amendment 1)
MGN 586 (F) - ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 - Medical Care
MGN 585 (F) - ILO Work in Fishing Convention - Payment of Fishermen
MGN 584 (F) - ILO Work in Fishing Convention, 2007 - Repatriation
MGN 583 (F) - International Labour Organisation Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188) - Fishermen’s Work Agreements
MGN 582 (F) - International Labour Organization Work in Fishing Convention (No. 188) - Financial Security
10.1.1 “Collision bulkhead” is a watertight bulkhead up to the working deck in the forepart of the Vessel.
10.2.1 For all Fishing Vessels, the following must be appropriate to the service of the Vessel and the length of time crew live on board:
10.2.1.1 maintenance of accommodation and galley spaces with due regard to hygiene and overall safe health and comfortable conditions;
10.2.1.2 ventilation, heating, cooling and lighting;
10.1.2.3 mitigation of excessive noise and vibration;
10.1.2.4 location, size, construction materials, furnishing and equipping of sleeping rooms, mess rooms and other accommodation spaces;
10.1.2.5 sanitary facilities, including toilets and washing facilities, and supply of sufficient hot and cold water.
10.2.2 Where the surveyor is not satisfied that the accommodation is adequate for the service of the Vessel in respect of 10.2.1.1 to 10.2.1.5 above, and modification to the Vessel is required, the surveyor will seek to agree an appropriate time period with the owner for such modifications to be carried out, and an improvement notice will be issued for that period.
10.3.1 If crew accommodation is to be fitted, it shall comply with the requirements of paragraphs 10.3.2 to 10.3.41 to the satisfaction of MCA.
10.3.2 There shall be adequate headroom in all accommodation spaces.
10.3.3 Where sleeping rooms are provided, there shall be no direct openings into sleeping rooms from fish rooms and machinery spaces, except for the purpose of emergency escape. Where reasonable and practicable, direct openings from galleys, storerooms, drying rooms or communal sanitary areas shall be avoided unless expressly provided otherwise.
10.3.4 Accommodation spaces shall be adequately insulated; the materials used to construct internal bulkheads, panelling and sheeting, and floors and joinings shall be suitable for the purpose and shall be conducive to ensuring a healthy environment. Sufficient drainage shall be provided in all accommodation spaces.
10.3.5 Emergency escapes from all crew accommodation spaces shall be provided as necessary.
10.3.6 Accommodation spaces, where they exist, shall be such as to minimize noise and vibration.
10.3.7 Accommodation spaces shall be ventilated and adequately heated, taking into account climatic conditions. The system of ventilation shall supply air in a satisfactory condition whenever crew are on board.
10.3.8 Ventilation arrangements or other measures shall be such as to protect non-smokers from tobacco smoke.
10.3.9 All accommodation spaces shall be provided with adequate light. Wherever practicable, accommodation spaces shall be lit with natural light in addition to artificial light
10.3.10 Where sleeping spaces have natural light, a means of blocking the light shall be provided.
10.3.11 Adequate reading light shall be provided for every berth in addition to the normal lighting of the sleeping room.
10.3.12 Emergency lighting shall be provided in sleeping rooms.
10.3.13 Where a Vessel is not fitted with emergency lighting in mess rooms, passageways, and any other spaces that are or may be used for emergency escape, permanent night lighting shall be provided in such spaces supplemented by photoluminescent signage.
10.3.14 Where the design, dimensions or purpose of the Vessel allow, the sleeping accommodation shall be located so as to minimize the effects of motion and acceleration but shall in no case be located forward of the collision bulkhead.
10.3.15 The number of persons per sleeping room and the floor area per person, excluding space occupied by berths and lockers, shall be such as to provide adequate space and comfort for the crew on board, taking into account the service of the Vessel.
10.3.16 To the extent not expressly provided otherwise, the number of persons allowed to occupy each sleeping room shall not be more than six. A separate sleeping room or sleeping rooms shall be provided for officers, wherever practicable.
10.3.17 The maximum number of persons to be accommodated in any sleeping room shall be legibly and indelibly marked in a place in the room where it can be conveniently seen.
10.3.18 Individual berths of appropriate dimensions shall be provided. Mattresses shall be of a suitable material.
10.3.19 Sleeping rooms shall be so planned and equipped as to ensure reasonable comfort for the occupants and to facilitate tidiness. Equipment provided shall include berths, individual lockers sufficient for clothing and other personal effects, and a suitable writing surface.
10.3.20 Sleeping accommodation shall be situated or equipped, as practicable, so as to provide appropriate levels of privacy for men and for women.
10.3.21 Mess rooms and sleeping accommodation shall be as close as possible to the galley, but in no case shall be located forward of the collision bulkhead.
10.3.22 Vessels shall be provided with mess room accommodation suitable for their service. To the extent not expressly provided otherwise, mess room accommodation shall be separate from sleeping quarters, where practicable.
10.3.23 The dimensions and equipment of each mess room shall be sufficient for the number of persons likely to use it at any one time.
10.3.24 Sanitary facilities, which include toilets, washbasins, and tubs or showers, shall be provided for all persons on board, as appropriate for the service of the Vessel. These facilities shall meet at least minimum standards of health and hygiene and reasonable standards of quality. Toilets shall be accessible at all times.
10.3.25 The sanitary accommodation shall be such as to eliminate contamination of other spaces as far as practicable. The sanitary facilities shall allow for reasonable privacy.
10.3.26 Where sanitation, galleys or mess rooms are provided, cold fresh water and hot fresh water shall be available to all crew and other persons on board, in sufficient quantities to allow for proper hygiene. MCA may establish, after consultation, the minimum amount of water to be provided.
10.3.27 Where sanitary facilities are provided, they shall be fitted with ventilation to the open air, independent of any other part of the accommodation.
10.3.28 All surfaces in sanitary accommodation shall be such as to facilitate easy and effective cleaning. Floors shall have a non-slip deck covering.
10.3.29 Amenities for washing and drying clothes shall be provided as necessary, taking into account the service of the Vessel.
10.3.30 Whenever possible, a cabin shall be made available for a member of the crew who suffers illness or injury.
10.3.31 Whenever possible, a place for hanging foul-weather gear and other personal protective equipment shall be provided outside of, but convenient to, sleeping rooms.
10.3.32 Appropriate eating utensils, and bedding and other linen shall be provided to all crew on board. However, the cost of the linen can be recovered as an operational cost if the collective agreement or the fisher’s work agreement so provides.
10.3.33 All crew on board shall be given reasonable access to communication facilities, to the extent practicable, at a reasonable cost and not exceeding the full cost to the owner.
10.3.34 Cooking equipment shall be provided on board. To the extent not expressly provided otherwise, this equipment shall be fitted, where practicable, in a separate galley.
10.3.35 The galley, or cooking area where a separate galley is not provided, shall be of adequate size for the purpose, well-lit and ventilated, and properly equipped and maintained.
10.3.36 The containers of butane or propane gas used for cooking purposes in a galley shall be kept on the open deck and in a shelter which is designed to protect them from external heat sources and external impact.
10.3.37 A suitable place for provisions of adequate capacity shall be provided which can be kept dry, cool and well ventilated in order to avoid deterioration of the stores and, to the extent not expressly provided otherwise, refrigerators or other low-temperature storage shall be used, where possible.
10.3.38 Food and potable water shall be sufficient, having regard to the number of crew, and the duration and nature of the voyage. In addition, they shall be suitable in respect of nutritional value, quality, quantity and variety, having regard as well to the religious requirements and cultural practices in relation to food.
10.3.39 Accommodation shall be maintained in a clean and habitable condition and shall be kept free of goods and stores which are not the personal property of the occupants or for their safety or rescue.
10.3.40 Galley and food storage facilities shall be maintained in a hygienic condition.
10.3.41 Waste shall be kept in closed, well-sealed containers and removed from food handling areas whenever necessary.
11.1.1 All Vessels must comply with international, national, regional and local requirements and applicable sections of MARPOL, for the prevention of marine pollution that are applicable to the Vessel and the area in which the Vessel is operating. Responsibility for the Vessel to be properly equipped and maintained and to ensure that the skipper receives up-to-date and adequate information, rests mainly with the owner.
11.1.2 Oily residues and garbage or refuse and other wastes must be landed ashore at proper disposal facilities and not discharged or dumped into the sea. All Vessels operating under this Code must display placards informing the crew of the disposal requirements under MARPOL.
11.2.1 Every Vessel shall display a placard displaying the legal requirements of dumping waste in accordance with the requirements of MARPOL. An example placard is shown in Annex 13.
Seafish constructed vessels can be identified by the SFIA number given to the Vessel by Seafish when it was being constructed. A plate is attached to the Vessel in a visible location indicating the SFIA number and must then be checked against records held by MCA to ensure a Construction and, if required, Outfit Certificate was issued.↩
Where the freeboard is less than the minimum freeboard indicated, where equivalence can be demonstrated the MCA may accept alternative arrangements.↩
Where the freeboard is less than the minimum freeboard indicated, where equivalence can be demonstrated the MCA may accept alternative arrangements.↩
Source: Boat Safety Scheme and CoGDEM↩
SOLAS “A” PACK requirements can be found in MSN 1676 (M+F), Schedule 4, Part 6.↩
SOLAS “B” PACK requirements can be found in MSN 1676 (M+F), Schedule 4, Part 6.↩
DfT E Pack requirements can be found in MSN 1676 (M&F), Schedule 4, Part 4↩