MCA – What are the minimum compliance requirements for fishing vessels?

At the end of last year, the Maritime and Coastal Agency (MCA) updated their documentation for ensuring fishing vessel compliance with international and UK safety requirements and correct certificates for vessels to operate in territorial waters.

Some of the main changes are:

  • Liferafts are now required on open vessels 7m (L) – 15m (LOA) and decked vessels 7-10m (L) (The type of liferaft required depends on the distance from a safe haven based on operating miles).
  • Emergency drills are mandatory.
  • Radar reflectors must be fitted to all vessels.
  • Bilge Alarms should be added to open vessels 7m (L) – 15m (LOA).
  • Certificates must be issued for Small Fishing Vessels.
  • EPIRBs with built-in GPS receiver are required for all vessels over 10m (L).
  • Vessels under 10m can have PLBs for each crew member or an EPIRB.
  • Carbon Monoxide Monitors should be fitted if the vessel has an enclosed cooking/heating space.

If you have previously registered your vessel, you will not have to meet the new liferaft and EPIRB/PLB requirements right away but you do have to meet them by the end of October 2019. Any vessels newly registering need to comply immediately.

It is now mandatory for all fishermen to wear a Personal Floatation Device unless “a written risk assessment can demonstrate that the risk of going overboard has been eliminated” (Updated 03/06/2019).

The products required on board are much the same across the different sizes of vessels (under 7m, 7-12m, 12-15m) however, the larger the vessel, the higher the quantity of the products you will need.

What you need to do now:

The process of ensuring your vessel complies can be time-consuming so to make things easier, Gael Force has pulled together a list of products that are suitable for Open and Decked vessels of various sizes so that our customers can stock up and meet these requirements for inspection.

We’ve also included a guidance document/checklist for each vessel for quantities required for each product which can be found on the individual vessel pages.

These lists are intended as a guide. You should always check your specific requirements directly with the MCA.

Their updated documentation can be read here which includes the full list of changes.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.