Increase to be followed by price freeze for next four years

The price of the safety certificate that is mandatory on most of the UK’s inland waterways and rivers network is to increase.

Having held the price of its Certificate for three years, the Boat Safety Scheme is to increase its charge by £5 from April.

Graham Watts the BSS Manager explained: ‘We managed to freeze the price of BSS Certificates for the last three years, but having looked at all the options, the price change cannot be avoided.

He said, ‘We recognise that this is an additional cost to boaters who are already facing other financial pressures, so we hope that freezing the price for four years will be of help.

In 2007 the Scheme was asked by its owners British Waterways and the Environment Agency to become self-funding. From April, the Certificates will cost BSS examiners £29 plus VAT each. Examiners work independently and charge for the certificate, plus time, travel and expenses. Boat Owners are advised to seek quotes from several examiners and download the BSS guide to prepare for the assessment.

Certificate sales represent almost 90% of the BSS income all of which is used to cover the costs the work underpinning the BSS examination service, risk research and review and the promotion of boat safety advice. A BSS certificate lasts four years before it has to be renewed.

The BSS is a public safety project that aims to help reduce the risks of fire, explosion and pollution on small craft. This is done by promoting fire safety and pollution avoidance advice to help boat owners keep themselves and their crews’ safe as well as regular examination of fuel systems, gas systems, electrical systems and appliances.