The public consultation on the Hire Boat Code was published on the AINA website and ran for 12 weeks from 16th December 2019 to 9th March 2020.
The Consultation Paper, along with a summary of the responses received, documents are available to download below.
All responses to the consultation were reviewed in detail, initially by Ross Wombwell, Head of Technical Services, British Marine and Philip Burgess, Executive Director, AINA; and then discussed at a meeting of the Hire Boat Code Working Group comprising representatives from the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority, the Boat Safety Scheme, AINA, British Marine, and the Maritime & Coastguard Agency on 15th July.
The Working Group was content to take account of almost all the comments made by respondents in a revised draft version of the HBC. However, further close investigation will be given in September to specific concerns expressed about:
- Downflooding heights (150mm) above the floor in front cockpits; and
- Potential risk to some heritage vessels, associated with the downflooding height issue
The latest draft version of the HBC will be issued to AINA members for information shortly and this will be an agenda item for the next AINA meeting in October.
The final version of the HBC is expected to be released by the end of November 2020, once the further investigations have concluded and following approval by AINA members.
Implementation of the HBC as a condition of licensing by navigation authorities is unlikely to happen before 2022, to allow sufficient time for operators to plan and budget for any alterations operators may be required to make to their fleets, and to provide scope for navigation authorities to implement the Code in accordance with their own regulatory frameworks and procedures which will vary widely.