Legislation & Directives

The laws relating to Small Craft in Antigua and Barbuda are divided into two main areas, distinguished by the nature of the respective operation:

Small commercially used vessels are regulated mainly through the Merchant Shipping Regulations 2008 (Small Commercial Vessel Regulations), which make reference to the Small Commercial Vessel Code (SCV Code), made in exercise of the powers contained in section 7 of the Antigua and Barbuda Merchant Shipping Act 2006.

Small craft used for pleasure purposes only are regulated mainly through the Small Craft (Control) Regulations 2017, which make reference to the Small Craft (Control) Code (SCC Code), made in exercise of the powers contained in section 6 of the Small Craft Control Act 2015, No. 14 of 2015.

In addition to these general regulations, ADOMS has established some Directives in certain safety related areas, and these directives are an integral part of Antigua and Barbuda Law and need to be adhered to as well.

Examples are Directive No. 003, dated the 1st of June 2013 establishing the definition of Safe Haven for vessels operating under the SCV Code and the limits determined for Protected Waters and Coastal Waters by ADOMS.  Additionally, the Directive contains a General Exemption for certain vessels operating in protected waters only during daylight, from the requirements of the carriage of liferafts and/or buoyant apparatus, subject to certain conditions.

For overall Antigua and Barbuda Maritime legislation, please see here.

The Small Craft (Control) Regulations 2017

These regulations apply to small craft licensed in Antigua and Barbuda , or operating within Antigua and Barbuda waters, irrespective of whether the small craft is also licensed or registered under any other law in Antigua and Barbuda.

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Code of Safety for Small Pleasure Craft – SCC Code 2017

This is the 2017 version of the Small Craft Control Code that applies to all pleasure craft  operating in Antigua and Barbuda waters of less than 24 metres in length, whether non self-propelled, power driven,maneuvered by oars, or poles, or under sail. It also...

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Directive 003 2013 (rev 1)

This Directive has effect from 1 June 2013.  It establishes the definition of Safe Haven for vessels operating under the SCV Code and it establishes the limits that are determined for Protected Waters and Coastal Waters by ADOMS.  Additionally, the Directive contains...

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