What is the Boat Safety Scheme?

The Boat Safety Scheme, or BSS, is a public safety initiative owned by the Canal & River Trust and the Environment Agency.

The Boat Safety Scheme is not a legal entity, it exists by way of a ‘collaboration’ set up by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 1995 between the owners of the Scheme, British Waterways (now the Canal & River Trust) and the National Rivers Authority (now the Environment Agency). For the time being the Canal & River Trust is the administrating body for the BSS. Its purpose is to help minimise the risk of boat fires, explosions, or pollution harming visitors to the inland waterways, the waterways’ workforce and any other users and to help protect adjacent property, as it is to these parties that the Navigation Authorities may have duties in law. The purpose is equally to contribute to the common goal to make the waterways a safe, attractive and pleasant environment for all.

The BSS helps control the hazards which are introduced by boats which have been inadequately constructed or maintained or hazards introduced by boat owners who misuse the boat’s equipment. The Navigation Authorities employ, through the BSS two broad approaches in respect of privately owned and privately managed boats.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR YOU?

In short, as a boat owner on an inland waterway – the River Thames for Bates Wharf Chertsey, every 4 years your boat needs to be inspected by an examiner.

The examiner will review your boat and provide an inspection sheet detailing the works required to comply with current regulations. Works are to be carried out and completed and the examiner will then re-visit your boat, review the works carried out and once satisfactory, provide a “Pass” certificate.

We can arrange this for you.

Once your boat has passed, you can apply for a water way license – such as the River Thames License which runs January – January.

WHAT IF I AM ONLY VISITING THE THAMES?

If you are visiting from another water way, or come up from the Coast for a season, you can apply for a visitor license too.

Remember – if you are coming from another water type i.e. salt water to fresh water, remember to change your anodes!

IF YOU HAVE ANY FURTHER QUESTIONS, PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT US.

DISCLAIMER: The text, places and opinions expressed in the text above are offered in good faith. Any action taken upon from the information on this website is strictly at your own risk; and Bates Wharf Marine Sales Ltd will not be liable for any losses or damage in connection to the use of our website.