Published on: 09 November 2023
British Marine’s technical department attended the MCA’s annual DPPSG meeting held on the 01/11/2023 representing the interests of our passenger boat members and association.
One of the main items discussed in the morning was the further clarifications to the ‘Grandfathering Legislation’ and the recent consultation and publication of MGN 627 amendment one. Full details of these clarifications and the publication of MGN 627 can be found here.
British Marine pushed the importance of getting the clarifications out to the surveyors offices as quickly as possible and making sure they are now accepting the equipment that HQ is stating is acceptable, reminding the MCA that we are now a year into the two-year transition period and industry has very limited down time in the ‘off season’ to make the changes, any further delays in communicating/clarifying the legislation will badly affect the industry.
The other main points of the meeting which affect our members are as follows:
The MCA has confirmed that a general exemption will be granted next year for the start of the season as Easter falls before the 1 April, this general exemption will allow Class VI vessels to operate for the Easter break, weather permitting.
Gradual withdrawal of UK Hydrographic Office Paper Charts – the UK hydrographic office recently announced its intention to withdraw publication of paper charts, with its initial announcement stating that this will happen by 2025, after significant intervention from the MCA reminding the office of its legal obligations to provide up to date charts and information to merchant ships as well as showing there are simply not the approved systems available particularly for smaller vessels they hydrographic office has now delayed the withdrawal until at least 2030. The MCA continues to work with the office and industry to find suitable cost-effective solutions applicable to all vessels before paper charts are withdrawn.
Revisions to the Merchant Shipping (Counting and Registration of Persons on Board Passenger Ships) Regulations 1999. This is the new legislation affecting sea going vessels (i.e. not on inland categorised waters), where there passengers details will need to be reported electronically for each trip. A secondary piece of legislation delayed the implementation of the regulations as the government reporting system was not ready or tested. Passenger numbers and details will need to be reported through the UK National Maritime Single Window which is owned by border force. There is now a pilot version to trial and feedback on which can be found here – UK national maritime single window (pilot): guidelines for use (publishing.service.gov.uk). The regulations will come into force 20 December 2025 (this is a 2 year delay) further details can be found here – MSN 1794 (M) Amendment 2: Counting and registration of persons on board passenger ships – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
The MCA currently have the following open consultations that affect the passenger vessel industry:
Consultation – The draft Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage from Ships and Prevention of Pollution by Garbage from Ships) (Amendment) Regulations 2024. Closes 13 November 2023.
Consultation – Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seafarers (COSWP). Closes AM 21 November 2023
For further information on any of the above please contact the British Marine technical department via firstname.lastname@example.org