MCA Coding Requirements

All UK registered vessels in commercial use, up to 24 metres load line length 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 YDSA is a Certifying Authority appointed by the MCA and issues certificates under the Code. We can carry out compliance examinations for the YDSA at Level 2 which is the coding of vessels to Category 2. We can arrange stability booklets for sailing catamarans.

The Maritime Labour Convention 2006 was ratified internationally on 20th August 2013. This covers areas such as employment contracts, medical, health and safety, etc. UK flagged vessels operating commercially outside the UK 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.

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.

Please see the YDSA website  for further information or contact us.


MCA Procedure

  1. Apply for survey by completing the SCV1 form and sending this with the fee to the YDSA.
  2. We will develop a detailed list of the required works to the vessel.
  3. We will complete a SCV2B Supplementary Compliance Document (if Stability Booklet is required) and arrange for a Stability Information Booklet if this is required.
  4. The operator prepares the vessel based on the required works.
  5. 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.
  6. The surveyor will inspect the vessel out of the water.
  7. The surveyor will revisit the vessel and close out outstanding items.
  8. The surveyor's paperwork will be sent to the YDSA for checking.
  9. 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.

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