We have new advice for anyone having their boat examined in the time of COVID-19
Please read these hints and tips before you book and have your boat's BSS Examination [LINK]
Make arrangements in advance
You can book an examination up to (but not exceeding) two months before your old BSS certification runs out (or RCD Declaration of Conformity recognition for licensing purposes).
If your boat passes with two months or less left on your existing certification, the examiner will post-date the new certificate to start from the date when either the old one expired; the fourth anniversay of the DoC or first-year date of the Annex IIIa document.
This means you do not lose any of the full four-year, or one-year validity of the existing document as relevant.
We recommend taking advantage of this facility, because if your boat fails for any reason, you will still have some time to put things right.
The BSS calls this process forward dating - the full detail is here Advance Booking of Examinations
Is everything in place for the examination?
It is a good idea to contact an examiner well in advance of needing to get your boat licensed, registered or take up a mooring.
You need to consider if everything is ready for a full examination to take place such as: Can the examiner get to the boat? Does he need permission of any land owners? Are keys involved? Is there gas aboard? etc..
To help have a successful examination, please check out the advice on Preparing for examination,
If your boat has a gas system with a gas cyliner locker, please take a moment to read this extra information concerning the checking of gas lockers and a.c. electrical shore-supply leads.
Selecting the examiner - what may affect the cost.
There is no fixed price for BSS examination. Be prepared to get two or three quotations, and always have a list of questions to hand so that you can agree the details right at the outset.
These could include for example, does the price include the cost of administrating the BSS Examination Report, are there extra charges if the examiner spends longer inspecting your boat than he expected, and will there be an extra charge if the examiner needs to make a return visit?
The examiner might ask you a range of questions about the systems installed on your boat to help him give you an accurate quote. Sorting these details out can help you make an informed choice when selecting an examiner.
Remember, each examiner is free to set his or her own charges, and market forces, the complexity of the boat's installations, VAT applicability, and travelling time may influence the prices given to you.
This is the webpage to Find-An-Examiner
The receipt-style BSS Certificate from April 2013
Like car MOTS, BSS examiners now give boat owners a receipt-style BSS certification report (BSSER) . This can be either on paper, or by electronic file, or both if you wish, please discuss your preferences with your examiner.
The navigation authority may still want to see a print-out or PDF file of your certification report. The authority is still likely to reqest your BSSER number and its key details in any initial transaction.
Behind the change in the process is the access all participating navigation authorities have to the BSS online database to double check your boat's certification validity. Because the BSS does not hold any detail about who owns what boat, boat owners do not have access to the BSS database directly. However some navigation autorities have an an online system for anyone registering or licensing a boat for their waterways, where that person can view their own boat details through a secure webpage. These navigation authorities will have more details.