Code of safe working practices for merchant seamen (COSWP)

A best practice code written for merchant seamen on UK registered vessels.

This publication was withdrawn on

This code has been revised. The revised code can be found at: Code of safe working practices for merchant seafarers


Code of safe working practices for merchant seamen: consolidated edition 2010

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Written for merchant seamen on UK registered vessels, the UK COSWP is of a safety-critical nature. You’re strongly advised to refer only to the official Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) version.

The 2011 print edition contains the same content as the 2010 electronic edition. The only difference is that it’s printed and bound.

Copies of the current printed edition must be carried on all UK ships (this does not apply to fishing vessels and pleasure craft).

How many copies to have on-board:

  • the master, safety officer and any members of the safety committee must each have their own
  • there must be one available for general reference

A copy must be made available to any seaman in the ship who requests it – this is in line with the Merchant Shipping (Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen) Regulations 1998.

Bring a pre-2010 edition of the code up to date and buy the individual amendment packs from TSO (The Stationery Office).

Published 6 May 2014