Publication Date: 
Thursday, 4 May 2017


The aim of this Code is to prescribe standards of construction, and emergency equipment for small commercial vessels operating in the Caribbean Region. The regulations are based on the United States Coast Guard Code of Federal Regulations 46 Sub-Chapter T (certification of small passenger vessels) which are regarded as equivalent to IMO Convention requirements for such vessels, Sub-Chapter C (Un-inspected vessels) and The United Kingdom Code of Practice for the Safety of Small Workboats and Pilot Boats.

It should be noted that requirements for small commercial vessels of 24 metres and over in length, on international voyages, or those under 24 metres in length which carry more than 150 passengers or provide overnight accommodation for more than 50 passengers, are given in the Code of Safety for Caribbean Cargo Ships and the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended, (SOLAS) for cargo and passenger ships respectively. Nevertheless, small commercial vessels of 24 metres and over in length engaged on voyages in national waters only, could be allowed to operate under the provisions of this Code by the Administration.

Administrations that are party to SOLAS, who notify IMO that the Code has been determined to be equivalent to the provisions of SOLAS under regulation I/5, for passenger vessels of less than 24 metres in length on international voyages, can issue such vessels with a SOLAS Passenger Ship Safety Certificate along with a copy of the notification of equivalency to IMO.

The Code shall not apply to:

• fishing or pleasure vessels;

• a vessel holding a valid International Passenger Ship Safety Certificate issued under the provisions of the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea, 1974, as amended (SOLAS) or Caribbean Cargo Ship Safety Certificate as appropriate;

• a boat forming part of a vessels lifesaving equipment that is used to carry passengers only in emergencies or during emergency exercises;and

• a vessel of a foreign country, who’s government has inspection laws approximating those of this Code,which has on board a current valid certificate of inspection or other certificates permitting the carrying of passengers, or cargo in the appropriate sea areas, issued by its Government, unless there are clear grounds for believing that the condition of the vessel or of its equipment does not correspond substantially with the particulars of any of the certificates or is such that the vessel is not fit to proceed to sea without presenting an unreasonable threat to the safety of the vessel or its crew and passengers or the environment. 

Unless otherwise specified the Code applies to both new and existing vessels.