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Ferries: Safety

Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport what checks are in place to ensure that ferries servicing British ports do not sail with a dangerous load distribution. (306961)

The Merchant Shipping (Weighing of Goods Vehicles and Other Cargo) Regulations 1988, as amended, require the owners of roll-on/roll-off passenger ships on short international voyages operating from United Kingdom ports to ensure that, with the exception of buses, all goods and other vehicles with an actual or maximum gross weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes, and any cargo items exceeding 7.5 tonnes, are individually weighed before loading. Those weights are then used to calculate the stability of the ship.

As part of the regular survey of UK registered ships and inspections of foreign ships operating out of UK ports, marine surveyors from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency may verify that the information required by the Merchant Shipping (Weighing of Goods Vehicles and Other Cargo) Regulations 1988 is supplied.