Before the examination

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]


Regular maintenance to keep your boat safe and complying with the legal obligations when it is on the water should ensure a first-time pass.

If it doesn't pass, you will need to know the information on this page about what the examiner has to do next.

However, preparing your boat before its examination will pay off and success and safer boater should be your reward.

Apart from checking to see that installations, components and fittings comply with the requirements before the examiner arrives, there are several things you can do to make the whole process run smoothly.

Firstly, will the examiner need to see any documentary evidence about a component's manufacturing standard e.g. engine hoses manufactured to standard ISO 7840. Can you have it ready?

"An examiner cannot issue a certificate on an incomplete examination!"

The critical point is that all relevant items must be capable of being checked effectively and accurately. If not, the examination will be considered to be incomplete and no certification made.

Here are a few points to keep in mind to ensure BSS Certification is possible and that the examination runs smoothly.

Are there fuel burning appliances aboard?  
Is there gas/oil fuel available to run appliances? tick box 90x90
If the appliances need power, are the batteries charged? tick box 90x90
Is there enough water in the system to run boilers / water heaters? tick box 90x90
Are all access panels/covers removed? tick box 90x90
Are all gas system joints available to see and touch? tick box 90x90
Is the gas locker lid/door unlocked? tick box 90x90
Is there sufficient access to the gas pipe to assess its support & condition? tick box 90x90
Can all gas hoses be seen and reached? tick box 90x90
Can fuel hoses and their connections be seen and reached? tick box 90x90
Other important arrangements  
Make any documentary compliance evidence available for the examiner? tick box 90x90
Can you provide the boat's last certification details to the examiner? tick box 90x90
Has any relevant landowner been notified? Is there access to the mooring? tick box 90x90
Are the boat keys available for the examiner if necessary? tick box 90x90


Additinal advice on preparation after 1 January 2013:

In addition to the advice on the page called Preparing for examination, we have the additional advice arising from the changes introduced in January 2013 for examinations on privately-owned, privately-managed boats:

LPG cylinder lockers - boat owners must ensure the BSS Examiner can carry out careful checking of the LPG cylinder locker for condition, including the removal of all loose portable items, base protection mats, removable false floors and the temporary removal of connected LPG cylinders.

Discuss your LPG cylinder locker arrangements with your examiner in advance of the examination as this may require your attendance or you to make prior arrangements involving service agents.

LPG lockers not accessible enough to allow an assessment of condition will involve the BSS Examiner having to return to carry out the check with the obstruction removed.

Where a boat uses A.C. shore-power and other a.c. power sources, the following notes on connection leads should be taken into account -

  • If practicable and safe to do so, boat owners should disconnect shore-power, battery charging, and other power sources in readiness for the BSS examination;
  • Boat owners should make available the shore-power, battery charging or other power source leads for examination of type and condition.
  • Information about the location of the a.c. consumer unit should be made known to the examiner in advance of the BSS examination.

Read more about the BSS Examination for privately-owned, privately-managed boats in the BSS Essential Guide

If you have a hire or other non-private craft, the BSS Standards can be seen on this link