Annex 1 - Categories of Waters and Classes of Ships

1.) The following define the categories of waters specified in the Merchant Shipping (Safety of Navigation) Regulations 2002.: (1)

"Category A waters" means narrow rivers and canals where the depth of water is generally less than 1.5 metres;
"Category B waters" means wider rivers and canals where the depth of water is generally 1.5 metres or more and where the significant wave height could not be expected to exceed 0.6 metres at any time;
"Category C waters" means tidal rivers and estuaries and large, deep lakes and lochs where the significant wave height could not be expected to exceed 1.2 metres at any time;
"Category D waters" means tidal rivers and estuaries where the significant wave height could not be expected to exceed 2.0 metres at any time;
"Domestic voyage" means a voyage in sea areas from a port of a member State or EEA State to the same or another port within that member State or EEA State;
"EEA Agreement" means the Agreement on the European Economic Area signed at Oporto on 2nd May 1992 as adjusted by the Protocol signed at Brussels on 17th March 1993; (2)
"EEA State" means a State which is a Contracting Party to the EEA Agreement;
"International voyage" means a voyage from a country to which the 1974 SOLAS Convention applies to a port outside that country, or conversely;
"Long international voyage" means an international voyage which is not a short international voyage;
"Mile" means a nautical mile of 1,852 metres;

"Restricted period" means a period falling wholly within the following limits:

a.) from 1st April to 31st October, both dates inclusive,

b.) between one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset in the case of ships fitted with navigation lights conforming to the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Collisions) Regulations 1996 (3) and between sunrise and sunset in the case of any other ships; (see also MSN 1781 and MSN 1781 Amnd - COLREGS)

"Sea"
does not include any waters of Category A, B, C or D; and

"Short international voyage" means an international voyage:

a.) in the course of which a ship is not more than 200 miles from a port or place in which the passengers and crew could be placed in safety, and

b.) which does not exceed 600 miles in distance between the last port of call in the country in which this voyage begins and the final port of destination,
but for the purposes of this definition, no account shall be taken of any deviation by a ship from the intended voyage due solely to the stress of weather or any other circumstances that neither the master nor the owner nor the charterer (if any) of the ship could have prevented or forestalled.

2.)

2.1) For the purposes of the classification of ships as Class C, the sea areas are those classified as Sea Area EC/C for all year round operation or for operation exclusively within a specific restricted period, in Merchant Shipping Notice MSN 1747 (M).

2.2) For the purposes of the classification of ships as Class D, the sea areas are those classified as Sea Area EC/D for all year round operation or for operation exclusively within a specific restricted period, in that Merchant Shipping Notice.

3.) The following table shows the arrangement of ships in Classes (4):

Class

Description of ships in Class

Class I

Passenger ships engaged on voyages any of which are long international voyages

Class II

Passenger ships engaged only on short international voyages

Class II(A)

Passenger ships engaged on voyages of any kind other than international voyages, which are not:
                  ships of Classes III to VI(A), or
                  new ships of Class A, B, C or D

Class III

Passenger ships engaged only on voyages in the course of which they are at no time more than 70 miles by sea from their point of departure and not more than 18 miles from the coast of the United Kingdom, and which are at sea only in favourable weather and during restricted periods

Class IV

Passenger ships engaged only on voyages in Category A, B, C or D waters

Class V

Passenger ships engaged only on voyages in Category A, B or C waters

Class VI

Passenger ships engaged only on voyages with not more than 250 passengers on board, to sea, or in Category A, B, C or D waters, in all cases in favourable weather and during restricted periods, in the course of which the ships are at no time more than 15 miles, exclusive of any Category A, B, C or D waters, from their point of departure nor more than 3 miles from land

 Class VI(A)

Passenger ships carrying not more than 50 passengers for a distance of not more than 6 miles on voyages to or from isolated communities on the islands or coast of the United Kingdom and which do not proceed for a distance of more than 3 miles from land

Class VII

Ships (other than ships of Classes I, VII(A), VII(T), XI and XII) engaged on voyages any of which are long international voyages

Class VII(A)

Ships employed as fish processing or canning factory ships, and ship engaged in the carriage of persons employed in the fish processing or canning industries

Class VII(T)

Tankers engaged on voyages any of which are long international voyages

Class VIII

Ships (other than ships of Classes II, VIII(T), IX, XI and XII) engaged only on short international voyages

Class VIII(T)

Tankers engaged on voyages any of which are short international voyages

Class VIII(A)

Ships (other than ships of Classes II(A) to VI(A) inclusive, VIII(A)(T), IX, IX(A), IX(A)(T), XI and XII) engaged only on voyages which are not international voyages

Class VIII(A)(T)

Tankers engaged only on voyages which are not international voyages

Class IX

Tugs and tenders (other than ships of Classes II, II(A), III, VI and VI(A)) which proceed to sea but are not engaged on long international voyages

Class IX(A)

Ships (other than ships of Classes IV to VI inclusive) which do not proceed to sea

Class IX(A)(T)

Tankers which do not proceed to sea

Class XI

Sailing ships (other than fishing vessels and ships of Class XII) which proceed to sea

Class XII

Pleasure vessels of 13.7 metres in length or over

Class A

Passenger ships engaged only on domestic voyages other than ships of Class B, C or D

Class B

Passenger ships engaged only on domestic voyages in the course of which they are at no time more than 20 miles from the line of the coast where shipwrecked persons can land, corresponding to the medium tide height

Class C

Passenger ships engaged only on domestic voyages in sea areas where the probability of significant wave heights exceeding 2.5 metres is less than 10% over a one year period for all year round operation, or over a specific restricted period of the year for operation exclusively in such period, in the course of which they are at no time more than 15 miles from a place of refuge, nor more than 5 miles from the line of the coast where shipwrecked persons can land, corresponding to the medium tide height

Class D

Passenger ships engaged only on domestic voyages in sea areas where the probability of significant wave heights exceeding 1.5 metres is less than 10% over a one year period for all year round operation, or over a specific restricted period of the year for operation exclusively in such period, in the course of which they are at no time more than 6 miles from a place of refuge, nor more than 3 miles from the line of the coast where shipwrecked persons can land, corresponding to the medium tide height

  1. These categories of waters are those set out in MSN 1776(M) but are set out here for ease of reference.
  2. Cmnd. 2073 and Cmnd. 2183.
  3. S.I. 1996/75.
  4. This classification of ships is similar to that in the Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances for Ships other than Ships of Classes III to Class VI(A)) Regulations 1999 (S.I. 1999/2721), as amended by S.I. 2000/2687, but is set out here for ease of reference.

 


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