For a ship out at sea, a numerous amount of information is required which could directly or indirectly effect her safety. This information could be related to statutory requirements resulting from conventions such as SOLAS, MARPOL or it could be an information which can be related to the seafarers exams or training or related to the best practices to be followed on board in a certain area. So what are M, MSN and MGN Notices?
Under UK legislation this information is transmitted to the ships through something called as M-Notices. Think of M-Notices as a type of newspaper being sent to the ship giving various type of information.
This so called ‘newspaper’ is published by the Marine Safety Agency (MSA) which is a body authorized by the UK legislation. Just like a newspaper, which covers different topics such as Politics, Sports, Weather etc, the M-Notices also caters to different topics.
Based on this the M-Notices or Marine Shipping Notices are divided into three different types namely –
What are MSN (Merchant Shipping Notices)?
MSNs contain the technical detail of regulations called ‘statutory instruments’ (SIs). This is mandatory information, and must be complied with under UK legislation. For example, a MSN can focus on ‘Changes coming to force in SOLAS Chapter V’. So, MSN’s specify the technical details of any statutory regulation or requirement in force. They usually have a cancellation date as the MSN gets cancelled once the amendments or requirements comes into force.
What are MGN (Marine Guidance Notices)?
MGN’s or Marine Guidance Notices will be issued regarding specific topic areas, e.g. SOLAS, MARPOL etc. They amplify and expand on Statutory instruments. A MGN can give information regarding Performance Testing of VDR’s and is a notice given in the form of a guidance. Another example of MGN could be a notice stating guidelines for off-landing of expired pyrotechnics. So, they are basically recommendations and suggestions given pertaining to a specified topic.
What are MIN (Marine Information Notice)?
Marine information notes (MINs) tend to give information that’s:
• valid for a short period of time, such as timetables for MCA exams
• relevant to a small group of people, such as training establishments or equipment manufacturers
These will be published periodically and will also carry a self cancellation date.
Each (Marine Shipping Notices) MIN, MSN and MGN carries a letter suffix after the M-Notice number which tells you if it relates to merchant ships and/or fishing vessels:
• (M) for merchant ship
• (F) for fishing vessels
• (M+F) for both merchant ships and fishing vessels
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