Exemption 41—Marine Safety (Unpowered barges)

This exemption is for owners of certain kinds of unpowered barges where is may not be practical to comply with specified construction, equipment and crewing requirements.

You do not need to apply to AMSA to operate under this exemption.

What this exemption will allow you to do

An unpowered barge is a vessel that is pushed or towed by another powered vessel.  It does not have its own mechanical propulsion, except that which keeps it in a relatively fixed position at a work location, or assists it to be towed to and from a work location.

Exemption 41 exempts owners of certain unpowered barges from the requirement to comply with certain aspects of the accommodation, safety equipment, communications equipment, and navigation equipment sections of NSCV Part C – Design and construction. It also provides an exemption from the ‘minimum crewing’ requirements in Marine Order 504. 

This exemption does not exempt an unpowered barge from the requirement to have a certificate of survey or to be operated under a certificate of operation.

An unpowered barge operating under Exemption 41 does not need to comply with the following requirements of the NSCV Part C


The unpowered barge must comply with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

If there are berths on the barge, they must not be in use.

If there are persons on board the unpowered barge, it must:

  • carry communications equipment to allow communication with other nearby vessels
  • have a documented, up-to-date risk assessment that identifies the marine safety equipment required while operating
  • carry any identified marine safety equipment so that is readily accessible to those on board
  • be at least one of the following:
    • connected to the shore or a structure
    • carrying a lifeboat, liferaft or rescue boat for all persons on board the barge
    • accompanied by a vessel that remains close to the barge at all times and is equipped to rescue all persons on board the barge.

Legislation and incorporated documents

Related information


Last Updated: 

27 February 2023