A Simple Explanation To A Much Asked Question:
Safety Scheme or BSS, is owned by the Canal & River Trust and the
Environment Agency. It was set up to reduce the risk of boat fires, explosions
or pollution harming anyone on the waterways.
that every ones safety is addressed all narrow boats and river boats need to
have an up to date Boat Safety Certificate. This is equivalent to a cars MOT
certificate, the vessel also needs to be insured and have a Canal & River Trust licence.
The BSS Examination
qualified examiner will inspect your boat and if it passes all the requirements
set out it will be given a Boat Safety Scheme Certificate, which is valid for
All new boats should already comply with the requirements, and come with a Recreational Craft Directive declaration of conformity, which lasts four years. From then on,
Boat Safety examinations are required once every four years. Boats with no gas,
electrical or fuel systems are exempt.
Booking The Examination
advisable to advance book your boats examination to avoid the risk of the
certificate running out. The BSS certificate is valid for
four years. For example if your certificate is issued on
15/08/2014 then the expiry date will be 14/08/2018.
Where a boat
is licensed or registered against an existing, BSS certification, or Recreational Craft Directive declaration of conformity,
and there is 2 months or less left until a new BSS is needed, then the expiry
date for the new BSS can be kept the same. For example, where a current certificate expires on 15/08/2014, and the date
of a successful examination is 10/07/2014; the new BSS expiry date is
14/08/2018 and not 09/07/2018.
Boats That Fail The Examination
boats pass inspection first time, if the boat fails on any aspect, the examiner
will detail this in his report. Please be aware that if your boat fails the
examination and you wish the examiner to return to pass off the work you
have had done to make right the problems, he may charge for a return call out. Some examiner’s factor this into their quotes, so ask your examiner before booking
The Boat Safety Scheme organisation allow a
time period of three calendar months from the failed examination to getting the boat re-examined. This is a reasonable
amount of time to get the work carried out that is required to pass the boat. It is
understood that it is not always possible for the work to be done straight
Getting Your Boat Ready For The
maintenance will help keep your vessel in good condition and help ensure it passes
first time. You need to ensure that all appliances and systems can be accessed by the examiner
to check, if not the examination will be considered to be incomplete.
*Here are a few points to keep in
all the boat's installations and appliances are fully functional so that a
complete examination can take place. This includes having a fully charged
battery and sufficient gas and water, together with any other documentation
that shows compliance with the BSS General Requirements.
If the good
condition or suitability of any item cannot be verified where this is a
requirement, no certificate will be issued. Ensure full access to all gas
joints and as much pipework as possible for a thorough examination. Items such
as gas lockers should be unlocked, boards and panels removed to give access
where verification is necessary.
relevant landowners who may have to give access to the examiner so that he can
get to your boat's mooring.
existing certificate to hand. This will help the examiner with information
about the boat that he or she must record, such as when it was constructed, with the confirmation of the expiry date of your current certificate.
*The above information is taken from
the Boat Safety Scheme website.
Where To Find A Boat Safety Examiner.
an examiner couldn’t be simpler try using the internet, recommendations, or
this link on the Boat Safety Schemes
website. Try and use an examiner that is local to where your boat is moored as
this will keep the travel costs down and of course this will help if he needs
to return if the boat does not pass first time.
How Much Will It Cost?
The price of
a certificate is not set in stone, so you need to shop around and get a few
quotes if you are looking for the best price in your area. On average the cost
will be around £150 to £200, which over 4 years actually works out to be quite
Staying Safe On Your Narrow Boat
purpose of the boat safety certificate is to keep everyone on the waterways safe;
with this in mind it is very important that you keep your vessels certificate
up to date. It is illegal to cruise the UK’s inland waterways without it
and mooring and gaining insurance will prove difficult, if not impossible
without your certificate.
examination can highlight potential hazards that may be lurking that
you may not be aware of. It is very important that you take on the advice of
the examiner and correct all the areas he records in his report.
safety of yourself, your crew and others on the waterways is taken care of by the BSS regulations is reassuring, and makes the canal system a safer and more pleasant place to be.