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. 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.

BSS Examination & Certification

COVID-19 Temporary Suspension of BSS Examinations
Following the most recent announcement from the Prime Minister regarding the UK’s response to the coronavirus crisis, the joint owners of the BSS are allowing a temporary extension to safety certificates for those craft requiring an examination in the period until the 30 April. more here

There are some Q&As on the suspension here.


Just like a car, on most of the UK's inland waterways, a boat needs to be licensed, insured and have the boat-equivalent of a MOT - valid BSS certification - before it can cruise.

Check with your navigation authority if this applies to your waterway.

Links to popular topics:

gas locker clipboard 90x90

Stay Safe Advice & Tips

Most boat-related incidents involve someone on board doing something to cause it, or not doing something to avoid it.

With the help of some of the leading organisations in their fields, we have advice and tips that may help keep you and your crew safe.

Find out more about:

Fit CO Alarms

Petrol Can Sml

The BSS Organisation

You can learn more on how the Scheme is run, the committees that steer its activities, how stakeholders are involved in the decisions and policies, as well as how the appeals and complaints systems work.


CO Alarms Are Mandatory