UK MCA: Engine emission standards for inland waterway vessels


Requirements of the NRMM Regulation apply to vessels operating on Category A, B, C and D waters. It is a notice to all:

  • Shipowners
  • Certifying Authorities
  • Shipbuilders
  • Ship repairers
  • Ship masters
  • Surveyors

To better explain, UK MCA clear that MSN 1837 defines UK inland water Categories as follows:

Category A – Narrow rivers and canals where the depth of water is generally less than 1.5 metres.

Category B Wider rivers and canals where the depth of water is generally 1.5 metres or more and where the significant wave height could not be expected to exceed 0.6 metres at any time.

Category C – Tidal rivers and estuaries and large, deep lakes and lochs where the significant wave height could not be expected to exceed 1.2 metres at any time.

Category D Tidal rivers and estuaries where the significant wave height could not be expected to exceed 2.0 metres at any time.

Therefore, the legislation clearly defines the geographical extent of application of the regulations to include tidal Category C, and D waters. This is logical in the context that seagoing ships coming into port are most likely to do so on a Category C or D inland waterway. Category A and B waterways are specifically excluded from the legislation.

Overall, the UK’s approach to implementation of the Inland Waterway Directive has been to make use of the derogation in the Directive which allowed Member States with inland waterways
unlinked by inland waterway to those of another Member State to which the Directive applies, to derogate from some or all of the technical requirements of the Directive, or to implement more stringent requirements in certain cases, such as additional provisions for passenger vessels.

UK MCA comments that

it is considered that the NRMM Regulation does apply irrespective of the requirements set out in the derogation to inland waterway vessels operating on Category A, B, C and D waterways.

Yet, inland waterway vessels only operating on tidal Category C and D with an installed engine rating power of 130 kW or above are subject to the requirements of the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Air Pollution from Ships) Regulations 2008. As the NRMM Regulation applies to engines fitted to inland waterway vessels with a net power of 19 kW and above, it will therefore apply to such vessels operating on tidal Category C and D waters which are below the threshold for compliance with the 2008 Regulations.

To learn more, you may click on the marine notice herebelow

MGN 646 (M+F)



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