IPV Code removes the red tape of boat testing and delivery

Published on: 10 January 2019

Boat Southampton

A new code came into force on 1 January 2019 allowing pleasure craft to be in temporary commercial use at sea for a number of defined purposes.

The Intended Pleasure Vessels (IPV) Code, which permits the temporary use of craft at sea for businesses purposes and as race support without the current requirement for inspection, marks a huge step forward for the UK’s leisure marine sector.

Testing, trialling and delivery of sea-going vessels legally will now be cheaper and easier for boatbuilders, brokers, surveyors, repairers, delivery companies and equipment service providers under the exemptions laid out in Part 1 of the new Code. It delivers an easier and clearer way for businesses to comply with regulation and will have resulting, long-term benefits for the end-user.

As the significance of this Code spans the breadth of boating, from manufacturer to boat owner, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) developed it in partnership with the sector’s leading associations and representatives. These include British Marine, Royal Yachting Association (RYA), Yacht Brokers, Designers and Surveyors Association (YBDSA), British Rowing and British Canoeing.

British Marine’s CEO, Lesley Robinson, joined the MCA’s Chief Executive, Brian Johnson, and other senior executives of marine organisations at The Little Ship Club today (10 January 2019) for an event to introduce the new Code.

Marine Guidance Notice 538 on the regulations applicable to Pleasure Vessels has also been replaced with MGN 599. The new MGN introduces exemptions that mark a significant step for the pleasure vessel sector in the UK and phases out the use of ORC life rafts.

Brian Johnson, MCA’s Chief Executive, said: “The need for pleasure vessel users to have a simpler way of complying with existing regulations was identified. Working in partnership with the pleasure vessel community and with help of the consultation which ran in 2018 the Code has been developed. This really is a positive step for pleasure vessel users and the wider community.”

Lesley Robinson, British Marine’s CEO, commented: “British Marine is delighted to have collaborated on this important and far-reaching development which will have huge implications for many of our members across the sector.

“The introduction of the IPV Code paves the way for additional activity on a single-voyage basis without the need for additional external approval; streamlining processes and reducing costs.”

Working in partnership with British Marine, the MCA has previously published similar regulations for the temporary use of vessels for businesses purposes in categorised waters. This can be found here.

The IPV Code can be found here and MGN 599 can be found here. Members needing additional guidance can contact the British Technical team at technical@britishmarine.co.uk.