Consultation Response : Class IX tugs under 500GT - guidance for exemption from the carriage of a rescue boat

  • Published: 18th July 2019
  • Category: Consultations
  • Committee: Harbour Towage

UPDATE 19 July 2019 - PUBLICATION OF MGN 609 accessible via:

The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) have concluded and responded to the public consultation on guidance for exemption from the carriage of a rescue boat for Class IX tugs under 500gt. 

In summary, one response to the Consultation was provided, which welcomed the introduction of the draft MGN and agreed that the information contained therein provided clarity and certainty to tug operators, whilst enhancing safety of operations.

The British Tugowners Association worked extensively with the MCA on the issue, where regional variation existed creating perverse policy and requiring unsafe practices. The publication of the MGN represents a considerable policy win for the towage industry in the UK, and a positive step in pragmatic safety practice. 

Accordingly, based on the support for the draft MGN, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency will now aim to publish the MGN as soon as possible. Operators are therefore encouraged to follow the guidance included in the MGN and proceed as though it were published for applying for exemptions from the carriage of a rescue boat. 

Please find the Consultation Outcome below. 

Any questions or comments may be directed to Robert Merrylees,