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General exemption in relation to Fire Protection on Class XII vessels 

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The Merchant Shipping (Fire Protection: Small Craft) Regulations 1998 include requirements for Pleasure Vessels of 13.7 metres in length and over to carry certain equipment.

The alternative to compliance with these regulations is to comply with the General Exemption in relation to Fire Protection on Class XII vessels. The General Exemptions in relation to Fire Protection on Class XII vessels is published by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in Marine Guidance Note - MGN 538. Unless cancelled the general exemption expires on 11 September 2020.

The following information outlines the equipment required to comply with the General Exemptions in relation to Fire Protection on Class XII vessels which most owners will find more practical than complying with the Merchant Shipping (Fire Protection: Small Craft) Regulations 1998. This information should be read in conjunction with MGN 538.

Category A & B waters

Class XII vessels used solely on Category A & B waters (as defined in MSN 1837, as amended) must be issued with a valid Boat Safety Scheme Certificate.

Category C & D waters and voyages to sea

The following is required:

2 Metal, plastic or canvas buckets with lanyards suitable for fighting fires

1 Fire blanket in every galley or cooking area, where there is a fire risk

Fire extinguishers / Fire pump as detailed in the table:

Vessels of 13.7m but less than 24m in length:

4 Multipurpose fire extinguishers:

• with a minimum fire rating of 13A/113B or a combination of smaller extinguishers giving equivalent fire rating; and

• the capability to deal with both Category A fires involving solid materials, and Category B fires, involving liquids or liquefiable solids; and

• of an approved type and / or technically equivalent to BS EN 3.

• Two extinguishers may be replaced by a fire pump capable (see the General Exemption in MGN 538 for the fire pump specification).

Vessels of 24m in length or over but less than 500GT:

2 Multipurpose fire extinguishers:

• with a minimum fire rating of 13A/113B or a combination of smaller extinguishers giving equivalent fire rating; and

• the capability to deal with both Category A fires involving solid materials, and Category B fires, involving liquids or liquefiable solids; and

• of an approved type and / or technically equivalent to BS EN 3.

and

A fire pump (outside the engine space) (see the General Exemption in MGN 538 for the fire pump specification). Note: The fire pump may be substituted with a further 2 fire extinguishers as detailed above.

Vessels of 24m in length or over but less than 500GT fitted with inboard engines

A fire extinguishing means suitable for the capacity of the engine space. (see the General Exemption in MGN 538 for the detailed specification). 

 

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