All UK vessels in commercial use, up to 24 metres load line length, which go to sea and carry no more than 12 passengers and/or cargo, are required by law to comply with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Commercial Vessel and Pilot Boat Code of Practice and be issued with Certificates by an Authorised Certifying Authority. The number of persons that the vessel carries can be greater than 12, for example 10 crew and 12 passengers.
The YDSA is a Certifying Authority appointed by the MCA and issues certificates under the Code, with currently about 1600 vessels on our register. YDSA Nominated Surveyors are authorised to carry out Compliance Examinations for certification by the YDSA, and are shown in the YDSA members' directory on this site.
The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 was ratified internationally on 20th August 2013. This covers areas such as employment contracts, medical, health & safety, etc. Full details can be found in MGN 490. A joint CA training day was held on 18th September to train surveyors to carry out the compliance inspection for MLC. However, there are still a lot of questions as the MLC was designed for ships. Compliance for under 24m will require pragmatism! All vessels undertaking an international voyage will be required to comply. International voyage is over 60 miles from the UK, or if operating in another nation's waters - therefore a trip from Dover to Calais will be an international voyage. UK flagged vessels operating commercially outside the UK (such as the Mediterranean or Caribbean) are considered to be permanently on an international voyage and MLC therefore applies. The surveyor will check the MLC requirements when he visits the boat and the certificate will have an MLC endorsement if required.
MCA Codes - The codes were developed specifically for each class of vessel: sail, power, nominated departure point and workboat. These older codes are still in legal force. MGN 280 - know as the "Harmonised Code" brought these codes together. However, work is now going forward to extract Workboats as a stand-alone code.
The codes cover the following categories (under 24m):
- Sailing charter vessels, both skippered and bareboat
- Motor charter vessels including angling and dive boats
- Motor vessels carrying up to 12 passengers
- RIBs operating commercially
- Pilot boats
The requirements for the vessel are primarily contingent on the nature of its operations, distance from a safe haven, limiting weather and whether overnight passages are to be undertaken.
- Apply for survey by completing the SCV1 form and sending the fee to the YDSA
- Your instructed surveyor will develop a detailed list of the required works to the vessel using the requirements of the appropriate code
- The operator prepares the vessel based on the required works
- The surveyor attends the vessel and fills out the SCV2 form; it is very unlikely that the vessel will be ready on the first visit. A list of outstanding works will be given to the operator.
- The surveyor will inspect the vessel out of the water
- The surveyor will perform a heel test
- The surveyor will revisit the vessel and close out outstanding items
- The surveyor's paperwork will be sent to the YDSA for checking
- When all is in order and fees have been paid to the surveyor and the YDSA, the certificate will be issued.
The certificate is valid for five years but is subject to annual renewal, including a mid-term examination between years 2 & 3, and may require annual surveys to be performed in some cases. An MLC endorsement will be added if required.
With the YDSA you have a choice of Compliance Examiners. Our Nominated Surveyors are Members of the Association, not employees, and you are free to choose from over 60 YDSA Nominated Surveyors around the UK and overseas.
If you are already registered with another Certifying Authority, you can transfer to the YDSA at no extra cost.
YDSA surveyors travel all over the world, so if we do not list a Surveyor based locally, please contact us to ask who is likely to be visiting the area soon.
The following forms must be completed and signed by the Owner/Managing Agent and the Nominated Surveyor and forwarded with the required fees to the YDSA before a Small Commercial Vessel Certificate can be issued:
- SCV1 Application Form
- SCV2A Compliance Document
- SCV2B Supplementary Compliance Document (if Stability Booklet is required)
- Stability Application Form (Sailing Vessels, Motor Vessels and RIBS) or Stability Information Booklet
Nominated Surveyor Grades
YDSA Nominated Surveyors are selected from our Membership of experienced Marine Surveyors and are divided into two levels, according to their qualifications and experience:
- Level 1: Coding vessels in all categories; carrying 16 or more persons; lifting/towing; carrying more than 1 tonne of cargo and Pilot Boats.
- Level 2: Coding vessels up to Category 2 not requiring a Stability Information Booklet.
See the directory of YDSA nominated surveyors on this site.
If you would like more information about obtaining a Small Commercial Vessel Certificate, please contact the YDSA Certifying Authority or talk to one of our Nominated Surveyors to arrange a Compliance Examination.
Certification Fees: Effective from 1st October 2012
Application fee for the issue of a compliance certificate (1st year)
|Vessels under 15m in length and not in the below criteria||£130.00|
|Vessels between 15m and 19m in length||£250.00|
|Vessels under 19m in length operating in Categories 0 and 1||£250.00|
|Vessels under 19m carrying 16 or more persons, over 1000 Kg cargo, or engaged in lifting, towing or Pilot Boat operations||£250.00|
|All vessels 19m in length and over||£350.00|
Annual Renewal fee for the issue of a compliance certificate (years 2 to 5)
|Annual renewal fee for vessels under 15 metres not requiring annual examination by the Certifying Authority||£75.00|
|Annual renewal fee for vessels between 15m and 19m in length not requiring annual examination by the Certifying Authority||£160.00|
|Vessels under 19m in length requiring an annual examination by the Certifying Authority||£160.00|
|All vessels 19m in length and over||£175.00|
|To obtain a Stability Category (applies to vessels over 15m not requiring a Stability Booklet)||£65.00|
|Administration Fee (e.g. issue of duplicate certificates)||from £50.00|
|Currency conversion and bank fees (if paying from outside the UK)||from £10.00|
|Retrieval of files from archive (typically vessels that have not been coded for 2+ years)||from £25.00|
VAT is not payable on the above fees
Charges for Stability Information Booklet Approval
(if presented in the approved format - further fees may be charged if further work is needed)
* VAT is payable on the above fees
If further correspondence or work is required, additional fees will be payable. Stability Information Booklets also attract an Administration Fee of £50.00 + VAT.
Compliance Examination - Surveyor's Fees
The fees for the Compliance Examination are negotiated with and paid directly to the Surveyor. The quoted fee will be on the basis that the vessel is presented for examination complying fully with the Code requirements. An additional charge may be made for a return visit or providing assistance with stability information.
YDSA Certifying Authority Committee Members 2013
Charles Rossiter (Chairman), David Cannell, Martin Evans, David Greening, Ray Johnston, Derek Levy, Hugo Morgan-Harris, Martin Pittilo, Ted Spears, Chris Temple, Tony Tucker, Mark Wiater. Ad-hoc - Neil Edden