Warning Notices

BSS Warning Notices and Immediately Hazardous Boat Notifications

When are notices issued and why.

During the course of a BSS examination, the BSS examiner may observe a problem of a type or severity that will prompt him or her to issue a BSS Warning Notice; and some circumstances make a Hazardous Boat Notification.

Warning NoticesWarning Label 2016

A Warning Notice is issued for two purposes: firstly to alert the owner or person responsible for the boat’s condition, that a hazardous defect has been found. Where relevant a warning label may be tied to the defective equipment or system.

Secondly, its purpose is to alert anyone stepping aboard that they could be at risk and should take appropriate precautions.

The examiner will note briefly what the defect is. If it relates to a BSS examination check item, the details are available in the Examination Checking Procedures for either private boats, or non-private craft, as relevant.

We also suggest talking with the examiner where the notes are not self-explanatory, or more information would be useful.

What it means / what to do now?

Once it is issued, the boat owner and/or skipper must consider themselves duly alerted to the hazardous defects and arrangements must be made to make the boat safe as soon as possible.

Who is told about the Notice?

A BSS Warning Notice is sent or handed to the boat owner and a copy is displayed on the boat in a prominent position. BSS examiners will keep another copy with their records and a note is made on the BSS database examination report.

Immediately hazardous Boat Notifications

Where the defects relate to the following immediate hazards further action may be taken:

  • Leaking gas
  • Leaking fuel
  • Heat damaged cables or other electrical fire risks
  • A.C. electrocution risks
  • Gas refrigerators with naked flames on petrol-powered boats
  • Leaking flue gases from appliances
  • Critical under-ventilation on non-private boats

The examiner will ask that the boat is made safe immediately and that the boat and/or equipment is not used until the defects have been properly fixed.*

The examiner must also inform the owner of the moorings and the BSS Office who will alert the appropriate navigation or harbour authority.

*UK Law linked to Gas Safety

It may be an offence under the Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations for a person to use or permit a gas installation/appliance to be used which might constitute a danger to any person or property.

In the event of injury or damage to property, the existence of known defects may be material to the boat owner's duties under the law of occupier’s liability or to the boat owner’s insurance.

(ref. V4.2 Sep 2021)