Coding of Vessels Information
All UK vessels in commercial use, up to 24 metres load line length, which go to sea are required by law to comply with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Small Commercial Vessel and Pilot Boat Code of Practice.
Vessels that meet the MGN 280 code are issued with Certificates by the IIMS (MCA approved) Certifying Authority.
IIMS Registered Examiners are authorised to carry out Compliance Examinations for certification by the IIMS and are shown in the IIMS Certifying Authority directory on this site.
The IIMS use the "The Harmonised Code MGN 280", covering:
- 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 use of each vessel are considered and the category approved will depend upon the nature of its operations, distance from a safe haven, limiting weather and whether overnight passages are to be undertaken.
How To Choose an Examiner
The IIMS Examiners are all Full members of the Institute and are not employed. You may select any of the Certifying Authority Examiners to carry out the inspection on your vessel.
If you are already registered with another Certifying Authority, you can transfer to the IIMS at no extra cost. You as the vessel owner must write to the certifying authority and ask them to transfer the documents to the IIMS,
The IIMS Certifying Authority Examiners cover the whole world, with some actually living in overseas locations, if in doubt, contact the IIMS HQ for details of members locations.
How to Apply for a Coding
IIMS Code Examiners operate in accordance with IIMS procedures under ISO9001 as follows:
- When contacted by a boat owner or managing agent for a vessel to be coded, the Examiner will assist with the completion of a SCV1 Form for registration with the IIMS Certifying Authority.
- The Owner Managing Agent forwards the SCV1 plus relevant fee to the IIMS Certifying authority.
- The instructed Examiner will discuss the requirements of the owner and advise on what will be required on the vessel.
- The Examiner attends the vessel and fills out the SCV2 form; it is possible that the vessel will not be ready on the first visit. A list of outstanding works will be given to the owner.
- The Examiner will inspect the vessel out of the water
- The Examiner may carry out a heel test
- The Examiner may have to revisit the vessel to clear outstanding items
- The Examiner will forward the SCV2 to the IIMS for checking
- When all is in order and fees have been paid to the surveyor and the IIMS, the certificate will be issued.
A certificate valid for five years will be issued, but this is subject to an annual inspection to maintain currency. Annual inspections can be self-certified, although the mid-term examination must be carried out by an IIMS Examiner. The IIMS Examiner will explain the system during the inspection.
What To Do Next