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The Merchant Shipping (Passenger Ship Construction: Ships of Classes III to VI(A)) Regulations 1998

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2.—(1) In these Regulations:

(a)a reference to a ship constructed on or after a specified date is a reference to a ship the keel of which is laid or which is at a similar stage of construction on or after that date, except in the case of a ship the keel of which was laid or which was at a similar state of construction before a specified date, but which was not a passenger ship, which is converted to a passenger ship after that date, the ship is to be treated as constructed on the date of which such conversion commences;

(b)a reference to a numbered regulation is, unless otherwise stated, a reference to the regulation of that number in these Regulations;

(c)a reference to a numbered paragraph is, unless otherwise stated, a reference to the paragraph of that number in that regulation; and

(d)where a sub-heading refers to requirements or to additional requirements for certain ships, the text following such a sub-heading in that regulation (or until the next such sub-heading in that regulation) shall (unless the context otherwise requires) relate only to such ships.

(2) In these Regulations the following expressions have the following meanings respectively, except where the context requires otherwise—

“approved” means approved by the Secretary of State or, in relation to any equipment or arrangement mentioned in Merchant Shipping Notice No. M.1645, by any persons specified in that Notice in relation to such equipment or arrangement;

“auxiliary steering gear” means the equipment, other than any part of the main steering gear, necessary to steer the ship in the event of failure of the main steering gear but not including the tiller, quadrant or components serving the same purpose;

“breadth of the ship” means the greatest moulded breadth at or below the ship’s deepest subdivision load waterline;

“bulkhead deck” means the uppermost deck up to which transverse watertight bulkheads are carried;

“buoyancy test” means a test carried out in accordance with Schedule 2 Section 4 in Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1699(M);

“Certifying Authority” means the Secretary of State or any person authorised by the Secretary of State;

“control room” means a room either within or outside a propelling machinery space from which propelling machinery and boilers may be controlled;

“crew space” means crew accommodation within the meaning of section 43 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1995;

“dangerous goods” means goods defined as such in the Merchant Shipping (Dangerous Goods and Marine Pollutants) Regulations 1997(1), and any reference to a particular Class of dangerous goods is a reference to that Class of dangerous goods as defined in those Regulations;

“dead ship condition” means the condition under which the main propulsion plant, boilers and auxiliaries are not in operation due to the absence of power;

“deadweight” means the difference in tonnes between the displacement of a ship in water of a specific gravity of 1.025 and the lightweight of the ship;

“draught” means the vertical distance from the moulded base line to a subdivision load waterline;

“EEA Agreement” means the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992(2) as adjusted by the Protocol signed at Brussels on 17th May 1993;

“EEA State” means a State which is a Contracting party to the EEA Agreement;

“emergency condition” means a condition under which any services needed for normal operational and habitable conditions are not in working order due to failure of the main source of electrical power;

“emergency source of electrical power” means a source of electric power intended to supply the emergency switchboard in the event of failure of the main source of electrical power;

“emergency switchboard” means a switchboard which in the event of failure of the main electrical power supply system is directly supplied by the emergency source of electrical power or the transitional source of emergency electrical power and is intended to distribute electrical energy to the emergency services;

“enclosed superstructure”means a superstructure—


which has enclosing bulkheads of efficient construction in which all access openings are fitted with sills and weathertight doors; and


in which all other openings in the sides or ends thereof are fitted with efficient weathertight means of closing;

but does not include a bridge or poop fulfilling these requirements unless access to machinery and other working spaces within the bridge or poop is provided by alternative means which are available at all times when access openings in the bulkheads of the bridge or poop are closed;

“every other ship” means a ship which requires a heeling test or buoyancy test given in column 4 of the tables in section 1 of Schedule 2 in Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1699(M);

“factor of subdivision” in relation to any ship or portion thereof means the factor of subdivision determined in accordance with such provisions of Schedule 2 in Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1699(M), as applied to that ship or portion as the case may be;

“favourable weather” means fine, clear settled weather with a sea state such as to cause only moderate rolling and/or pitching;

“freeboard deck” has the same meaning as in the Merchant Shipping (Load Line) Rules 1998(3);

“forward perpendicular” means the forward extremity of the length of the ship;

“hazardous area” means an area in which explosive gas-air mixtures are, or may be expected to be, present in quantities such as to require special precautions for the construction and use of electrical apparatus or other apparatus which otherwise would constitute a source of ignition;

“heeling test” means a test carried out in accordance with Schedule 2 Section 3 in Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1699(M);

“high speed craft” is a craft capable of a maximum speed in metres per second (m/s) equal to or exceeding—


  • Δ = volume of displacement corresponding to the design waterline (m3);

“independent power pump” means a pump operated by power otherwise than from the ship’s main engines;

“length” in relation to a ship, unless otherwise defined, means the length of a ship measured between perpendiculars taken at the extremities of the deepest subdivision load waterline;

“lightweight” means the displacement of a ship in tonnes without cargo, fuel, lubricating oil, ballast water, fresh water and feed water in tanks, consumable stores and passengers and crew and their effects;

“locked” means secured by a device which prevents unauthorised operation;

“machinery space” means any space extending from the moulded base line of the ship to the margin line and between the extreme transverse watertight bulkheads bounding the spaces containing the main and auxiliary propelling machinery, generators and boilers serving the needs of propulsion, when installed;

“machinery spaces of Category A” means a machinery space which contains—


internal combustion type machinery used either for main propulsion purposes or for other purposes where such machinery has in the aggregate a total power output of not less than 373 kilowatts; or


any oil fired boiler or oil fuel unit;

“main generating station” means the space in which the main source of electrical power is situated;

“main source of electrical power” means a source intended to supply electrical power to the main switchboard for distribution to all services necessary for maintaining the ship in a normal operational and habitable condition;

“main steering gear” means the machinery, rudder actuators, steering gear power units, if any, and auxiliary equipment and the means of applying torque to the rudder stock, such as the tiller or quadrant, necessary for effecting movement of the rudder for the purpose of steering the ship under normal service conditions;

“main switchboard” means a switchboard which is directly supplied by the main source of electrical power and is intended to distribute electrical energy to the ship’s services;

“margin line” means a line at least 76 millimetres below the upper surface of the bulkhead deck at the side of a subdivided ship;

“Maritime and Coastguard Agency” means the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, an executive agency of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions;

“maximum ahead service speed” means the greatest speed which the ship is designed to maintain in service at sea at her deepest seagoing draught;

“Merchant Shipping Notice”, “Marine Guidance Note” or “Marine Information Note” means a Notice Note described as such and issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency;

“mile” means a nautical mile of 1,852 metres;

“navigable speed” means the minimum speed at which a ship can be effectively steered in the ahead direction;

“noise level” means “A” weighted sound pressure level in decibels dB(A) as defined and tabulated in the British Standards specification number EN 60651:1994;

“nominated surveyor” means a surveyor nominated by the Secretary of State to undertake the surveys required by these Regulations and includes a marine surveyor of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency;

“open ro-ro cargo spaces” means ro-ro cargo spaces either open at both ends, or open at one end and provided with adequate natural ventilation effective over their entire length through permanent openings in the side plating or deckhead;

“open ship” means a ship in which all the passenger accommodation is completely open to the elements and is not fitted with a weathertight or watertight deck or structure above the waterline;

“passenger” means any person carried in a ship except—


a person employed or engaged in any capacity on board the ship on the business of the ship;


a person on board the ship either in pursuance of the obligation laid upon the master to carry shipwrecked, distressed or other persons, or by reason of any circumstances that neither the master nor the owner nor the charterer (if any) could have prevented; and


a child under one year of age;

“passenger ship” means a ship carrying more than 12 passengers and propelled by electricity or other mechanical power;

“passenger space” means a space provided for the use of passengers;

“public spaces” includes halls, dining rooms, bars, smoke rooms, lounges, recreation rooms, nurseries, libraries and similar public permanently enclosed spaces;

“relevant standard of an EEA state other than the United Kingdom”, in relation to a reference to an International Standard or a British Standard, means—


a relevant standard or code of practice of a national standards body or equivalent body of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom;


a relevant international standard recognised for use in an EEA State other than the United Kingdom; or


a relevant specification acknowledged for use as a standard by a public authority of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom;

being a standard, code of practice or specification which provides in use, levels of safety, suitability and fitness of purpose equivalent to those provided by the International Standard or the British Standard;

“ro-ro cargo spaces” means spaces not normally subdivided in any way and extending to either a substantial length or the entire length of the ship in which goods (packaged or in bulk, in or on rail or road cars, vehicles (including road or rail tankers), trailers, containers, pallets, demountable tanks or in or on similar stowage units or other receptacles) can be loaded and unloaded normally in a horizontal direction;

“ro-ro passenger ship” means a passenger ship provided with cargo or vehicle spaces not normally subdivided in any way and extending to either a substantial length or the entire length of the ship in which vehicles or cargo can be loaded or unloaded in a horizontal direction;

“settling tank”means an oil storage tank having a heating surface of not less than 0.183 square metre per tonne of oil capacity;

“similar stage of construction” means the stage at which—


construction identifiable with a specific ship begins; and


assembly of that ship has commenced comprising at least 50 tonnes or one per cent of the estimated mass of all structural material, whichever is less;

“special category space” means any enclosed space above or below the bulkhead deck intended for the carriage of motor vehicles with fuel in their tanks for their propulsion, into and from which such vehicles can be driven and to which passengers have access;

“stability information” means the information required to be provided in compliance with regulation 31;

“steering gear control system” means the equipment by which orders are transmitted from the navigating bridge to the steering gear power units. Steering gear control systems comprise transmitters, receivers, hydraulic control pumps and their associated motors, motor controllers, piping and cables;

“steering gear power unit” means—


in the case of electric steering gear, the electric motor and its associated electrical equipment;


in the case of electro-hydraulic steering gear, the electric motor, its associated electrical equipment and connected pump; or


in the case of steam-hydraulic or pneumatic-hydraulic steering gear, the driving engine and connected pump;

“subdivided ship” means a ship which has a factor of subdivision of unity or 0.5;

“subdivision load waterline” means the waterline assumed in determining the subdivision of the ship in accordance with these Regulations;

“suitable” in relation to material means approved as suitable for the purpose for which it is used;

“superstructure” means a decked structure situated on or above the bulkhead deck which either extends from side to side of the ship or is such that its side plating is not inboard of the shell plating of the ship by more than 4 per cent of the breadth of the ship and, where the bulkhead deck of the ship consists of a lower deck, includes that part of the hull of the ship which extends above the bulkhead deck;

“United Kingdom ro-ro passenger ship” means a ro-ro passenger ship which is a United Kingdom ship;

“voyage” includes an excursion;

“watertight” in relation to a structure means capable of preventing the passage of water through the structure in any direction under the maximum head of water which it might have to sustain in the event of damage to the ship, but for structures below the bulkhead deck at least the head of water up to the ship’s margin line;

“weathertight” in relation to a structure means capable of preventing the passage of sea water through the structure in the worst sea and weather conditions likely to be encountered by the ship.

(3) Any reference in these Regulations to—

(a)a British Standard;

(b)a Merchant Shipping Notice; or

(c)any other specified code or guidelines;

shall include—

(i)a reference to any document amending that publication which is considered by the Secretary of State to be relevant from time to time and is specified in a Merchant Shipping Notice, Marine Guidance Note or Marine Information Note; and

(ii)with respect to a British Standard, a reference to a relevant standard of an EEA State other than the United Kingdom.

(4) Where a ship is operated by a person other than its owner (whether on behalf of the owner or some other person, or on his own behalf), a reference in these Regulations to the owner shall be construed as including a reference to that person.

(5) Any approval given pursuant to these Regulations shall be given in writing and shall specify the date it is to come into force and the conditions (if any) on which it is given.

(6) (a) (i) Subject to subparagraph (ii) below, for the purposes of these Regulations passenger ships shall be arranged in Classes as follows:—

Class IIIShips engaged only on voyages in the course of which they are at no time more than 70 miles by sea from their point of departure and not more than 18 miles from the coast of the United Kingdom, and which are at sea only in favourable weather and during restricted periods;
Class IVShips engaged only on voyages in Category A, B, C or D waters;
Class VShips engaged only on voyages in Category A, B, or C waters;
Class VIShips engaged only on voyages with not more than 250 passengers on board, to sea, or in Category A, B, C or D waters, in all cases in favourable weather and during restricted periods, in the course of which the ships are at no time more than 15 miles, exclusive of any Category A, B, C, or D waters, from their point of departure nor more than 3 miles from land;
Class VI(A)Ships carrying not more than 50 passengers for a distance of not more than 6 miles on voyages to or from isolated communities on the islands or coast of the United Kingdom and which do not proceed for a distance of more than 3 miles from land; subject to any conditions which the Secretary of State may impose.

(ii)The above Classes of ships do not include ships engaged on international voyages.

(b)For the purposes of this regulation the following expressions have the following meanings respectively—

“Category A, B, C or D waters” means the waters specified as such in Merchant Shipping Notice No. M.1504; and cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

“restricted period” means a period falling wholly within the following limits—


from the 1st April to 31st October, both dates inclusive; and


between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset in the case of ships fitted with navigation lights conforming to the collision regulations and betwen sunrise and sunset in the case of any other ships;

“sea” does not include any waters of Category A, B, C or D.


S.I. 1997/2367.


Cm. 2073.


S.I. 1998/2241.

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