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MCA Coding

All UK flagged vessels in commercial use and 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 (the Code) and to be issued with appropriate Certificate by an authorised Certifying Authority.

The Code covers:

  • 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
  • Workboats
  • Pilot Boats

The Code requires each vessel to undergo a full out-of-water Condition Survey, a check of its safety and lifesaving equipment and an assessment of its stability before a Certificate is issued.

It is important to ensure that the vessel is ready in all respects for the inspection. We can prepare your vessel for coding, in order to ensure that that the inspection goes smoothly and to arrange for inspection and certification.

We undertake an initial inspection and report on any changes or alterations which may need to be undertaken in order to make the vessel compliant to MCA or Class requirements. We can also oversee the upgrade/refit and liaise with the MCA certifying authority.

Where a vessel may not be able to meet the requirements for MCA coding (for instance due to structural issues in older vessels) we can advise on alternative flag states and compliance regimes that may still enable a vessel to be certified for commercial use.

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