Join the consultation on new safety requirements for older UK passenger ships

Join the consultation on new safety requirements for older UK passenger ships

Published: 06/11/2018

A  twelve-week public consultation begins today on proposed new technical requirements for domestic passenger ships. The planned changes aim to make sure older ships more closely match the safety standards of new-built vessels.

Passenger ship regulations were substantially overhauled in 1992 following the Marchioness tragedy on the River Thames in London. Since 2000, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency has also introduced more rigorous regulations for new domestic passenger vessels. However, the regulations for existing vessels have remained mostly unchanged. Olde
vessels retain ‘grandfather’ rights to apply the older standards. In some areas, this has led to a safety gap between these vessels and modern ships. 

To address these safety gaps, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency has conducted a review into the safety standards applied to older UK passenger ships to determine whether they could be more closely aligned to standards for modern vessels in important areas including life-saving appliances and fire safety.

Katy Ware, Director of Maritime Safety & Standards at the MCA, said: “Ultimately, our aim is to deliver a set of practical requirements which will provide a more level playing-field for industry and a higher level of safety for passengers and crew.”

Proposals for revised technical requirements for these vessels have now been developed, drawing on the findings of the review. These proposals are now going out for a 12-week public consultation starting from today. Industry, operators and the public are encouraged to participate in the consultation. You can take part by visiting the consultation page at