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Spain publishes standard for seaport passenger boarding bridges

The Spanish Association for Standardisation (UNE) approved and published a new standard for Seaport Passenger Boarding Bridges (SPBBs) destined for cruise and ferry terminals.

ADELTE, Barcelona-based specialist in the design and manufacture SPBBs, is calling attention to this advance.

Safety, security, performance and operating standards

UNE 27800:2020 specifies safety and security requirements, as well as performance and operating specifications for SPBBs, which are used to service all types of cruise ships and ferries. The standard is intended to improve fulfilment of the stipulations laid out in the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, setting specific and vital minimum criteria for safe, durable and practical boarding bridges.

For more than a decade, various interest groups in the Spanish cruise and ferry industries have called for the regulation of this type of equipment. Currently, there is no harmonized European standard under the Machinery Directive 2006/42/EC, the European regulation governing SPBBs.

Spearheaded by ADELTE

In 2018, ADELTE took the initiative to promote the creation of a working group within the UNE’s Standardization Technical Committee CTN 27, with the elaboration of a reference standard as goal. This group has worked for two years on a consensus basis with the participation of stakeholders including cruise terminal operators, shipbuilders, cruise lines, certification bodies and engineering companies.

Minimizing hazards

The standard specifies technical requirements to minimize hazards that may arise during the commissioning, operation and maintenance of SPBBs for cruise ships and ferries when used as intended — even foreseeing the most common errors in use — according to manufacturers’ or authorized representatives’ instructions. It also stipulates other essential requirements as recommended by port authorities, cruise and ferry companies, as well as cruise and ferry operators, terminal operators and engineering companies.

UNE 27800:2020 applies to fixed and mobile bridges for boarding and disembarking passengers on cruise ships and ferries. It is applicable from the interface with the terminal building or pier to the connection with the ship, including the fixed tunnels that are part of an SPBB.

Further information is at


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