Operational standards for small vessels

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Small commercial vessels must follow certain codes of practice.

This applies to any vessel that:

  • is less than 24 metres long
  • is less than 150 gross tonnes and was built before 21st July 1968
  • carries cargo and no more than 12 passengers
  • provides a service where neither cargo or passengers are carried
  • is a pilot boat of any size, eg a vessel that take pilots to and from larger ships
  • isn’t considered a ‘pleasure vessel’

Pleasure vessels

These are craft used solely for either:

  • sport or recreation by their owners, family, friends or employees
  • non-profit journeys

Pleasure vessels are exempt from the small commercial vessel codes of practice.