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Government of

Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Maritime legislation

​​​​Legislation that applies to Jersey ships

In addition to compliance with specific laws drafted to apply to ships, a Jersey-registered ship and its crew are generally subject to Jersey criminal, civil and customary law, unless an enactment explicitly provides exemptions. This is true wherever the ship is in the world.

When in the territorial waters of another jurisdiction, then the owner and Master of the ship should also comply with that country’s law as it applies to shipping in its waters.

Legislation applying to ships in Jersey waters

Ships in Jersey waters must comply with all Jersey law. There are some exceptions where for non-maritime matters and for practical enforcement purposes, preference is given to the legislation applicable to the jurisdiction where the ship is registered (the ship’s Flag State). For example, the Restriction on Smoking (Jersey) Law 1973 does not apply to non-Jersey ships if registered elsewhere.

Jersey applies the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) and a number of other key international maritime conventions. Whilst the emphasis is on commercial shipping, both commercial ships and pleasure craft in a Jersey harbour may be inspected to ensure compliance.

You should be aware of the following key pieces of maritime legislation:

  • Harbours (Jersey) Regulations 1962
  • Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions) (Jersey) Order 2004
  • Shipping (Employment of Young People) (Jersey) Order 2007
  • Shipping (Safety of Navigation) (Jersey) Order 2009
  • Shipping (MARPOL) Regulations 2012
  • Harbours (Inshore Safety) (Jersey) Regulations 2012

Fishing vessel Code of Safety Practices

These codes came into force on 14 July 2015​ and apply to all Jersey-registered fishing vessels.

If you have existing certification, it remains valid until its date of expiry.

After your certificate expires, you will need to keep a self-certification check list on board your vessel in case of a possible ​inspection between scheduled inspections or surveys. 

For vessels over 15 meters in length, surveys will now normally be at 5 years intervals instead of every 4 years.

Code of Safety Practice for fishing vessels 15 meters to 24 meters

Code of Safety Practice for fishing vessels under 15meters

Commercial shipping​​

You need to be aware of the Jersey legislation applying to Jersey ships or ships in Jersey waters.

​You should be aware of the Shipping (Safety Code – Yachts and Small Ships) (Jersey) Regulations 2013 and the associated Code of Safety Practice.

Shipping (Safety Code - Yachts and Small Ships) (Jersey) Regulations 2013 on Jersey Law website

Code of Safety Practice for​ yachts and small ships

Large pleasure yachts (24m or more)

Legal requirements which are additional to such essentials as SOLAS Chapter V and Collision Regulations are deliberately kept to a minimum for pleasure craft. However, ships of 24 meters or more in length have to comply with key watchkeeping, manning and qualification requirements. The owner is also required to make an annual safety equipment declaration.

Generally, compliance is expected with equivalent UK standards of survey and certification, and vessels can be inspected. If a ship is found to be dangerously unsafe on inspection it can be detained.

Manning policy manual for commercial and private yachts over 24 meters and less than 400GT

Record of safety equipment for a Jersey registered sea g​oing pleasure vessel over 24 meters

Employing a crew

In addition to the above, you should be aware in particular of the following:

  • Shipping (Training, Certification and Manning) (Jersey) Order 2004
  • Shipping (Employment of Young People) (Jersey) Order 2007
  • ILO and MLC compliance

ILO and MLC compliance

Small pleasure boats

Boat owners in Jersey need to be aware of the Harbours (Inshore Safety) (Jersey) Regulations 2012. These regulations are administered by Jersey Harbours. They cover how to register a boat locally and impose minimum standards in relation to speed, noise and inshore safety.

To find out more, contact Jersey Marinas.

Jersey Marinas on Ports of Jersey website

If you wish to take your boat to other ports outside Jersey and it is not on the full register, you should first obtain a Small Ships Registration Certificate. ​

The application of SOLAS Chapter V is also very important and the following guidance should be read. 
The Small Ships Register on the Ports of Jersey website

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