The exact application process can differ depending on many things, including the Code of Practice, the nature of your boat’s operations and the manner in which your Coding Surveyor operates.

A typical application process would be:

Step 1 – Nominate your Coding Surveyor

If you already use a YDSA Certifying Authority approved Coding Surveyor, let them know about your new vessel. Otherwise look at our Find a Coding Surveyor and search for one by name, location, experience or material.

You will need to contact your Nominated Coding Surveyor to arrange for them to perform a Compliance Examination. They will let you know what preparations you should make for them to carry this out.

Step 2 – Complete an SCV1 Application Form

This is the SCV1 Application Form. By completing the SCV1, you are giving us the basic information about your vessel along with your contact details. You are also telling us who your Nominated Coding Surveyor is.

Return your SCV1 form to us by:

  • Either using a digital or electronic signature and email back to us;
  • Or print, sign and post to the address on the form.

When we receive your SCV1 we check that your Nominated Coding Surveyor meets the requirements for the inspection. This includes checking they have the appropriate experience with the material of the vessel and the intended area of operation category.

Step 3 – Pay the Relevant Application Fee

The application fee can vary from vessel to vessel so we have made our fee structure as easy to follow as possible. The Fees section below details all of the options and fees that may be applicable.

These are the YDSA Certifying Authority fees and are separate from any fees the Coding Surveyor may charge for carrying out the survey. An annual declaration and fee is required, but not all vessels require an annual inspection by the Coding Surveyor. All vessels require a Mid-Term Inspection between years 3 and 4 to ensure the boat remains compliant.

We accept the following methods of payment:

  • Debit or Credit Card (see Payment Forms section below)
  • Bank Transfer

We do not accept payment over the phone.

Step 4 – The Compliance Examination

The Nominated Coding Surveyor will visit the vessel and complete an SCV2 form, which you will need to countersign. There may be multiple parts to the SCV2 form to sign depending on the Code of Practice and the nature of your boat’s operations.

It is quite normal for a list of items to be produced that will need addressing. Some of these will need to be completed before the Nominated Coding Surveyor will sign off the SCV2, while others may be completed after the initial certificate has been issued, called B Items.

All these need to be discussed with your Nominated Coding Surveyor and be rectified to both the surveyor’s and the YDSA Certifying Authority’s satisfaction and may require follow-up inspections.

Step 5 – Stability Information

The Codes of Practice require all coded vessels to comply with certain stability criteria. These criteria and standards will depend on the vessel design, the specific Code of Practice, and the nature of your boat’s operations.

Please see the Stability page for more details.

Step 6 – Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) Inspection

The MLC came into force internationally on the 20th August 2013, introducing new international standards to ensure that seafarers have decent living and working conditions on commercially operated vessels, including all vessels certificated under the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Codes of Practice.

The MLC applies to all commercial vessels operating internationally and some vessels operating domestically.

Please see the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) page to see if you require an MLC inspection and for more details.

Step 7 – Checking by YDSA Certifying Authority

All the paperwork is sent in to the YDSA Certifying Authority for checking by one of our Duty Surveyors. Any queries arising will need to be addressed, usually by your Nominated Coding Surveyor in the first instance.

When the documentation is completed and the relevant fees have been paid to the Nominated Coding Surveyor and the YDSA Certifying Authority, the first year’s certificate will be issued.

Details of you, your vessel and the certificate issued are then sent to the MCA or relevant overseas registry/agency.

NB: All Certifying Authority certificates will require a minimum of 10 working days for processing from the date of documentation submission and payment being received. However, this is subject to extension should any items identified in the scrutineering process require additional information. 

What Happens Next

This five year cycle is subject to annual renewals and will require additional surveys to be performed by your Nominated Coding Surveyor, the frequency of which depends on the Code of Practice and the nature of your boat’s operations.

We will contact you or your managing agent before your annual renewal is due, so you have time to arrange an inspection. If your Nominated Coding Surveyor is due to inspect your vessel, they will also be notified. This will include an Annual Declaration for you (or you and your Nominated Coding surveyor) to sign and details of the Annual Renewal Fee.

Application fee for the issue of a compliance certificate (1st year)
(Fees in this table are outside the scope of VAT) (If upon review of your application it's deemed to be in a higher price band than you have paid (e.g. you didn't think you required category 1 but it comes to light you do), we reserve the right to issue an add-on invoice for the difference)
Price (£ GBP)
Vessels under 15m LOA and not in the below criteria
Vessels between 15m and 19m in length
Vessels under 19m in length operating in Categories 0 and 1
Vessels under 19m in length carrying 16 or more persons, over 1000 Kg cargo, or engaged in lifting, towing or Pilot Boat operations
All vessels 19m in length and over
Light Duty Workboat Fee
Annual Renewal fee for the issue of a compliance certificate (years 2 to 5)
(Fees in this table are outside the scope of VAT)
Price (£ GBP)
Annual renewal fee for vessels <15m not requiring annual examination by the Certifying Authority
Annual renewal fee for vessels between 15m and 19m in length not requiring annual examination by the Certifying Authority
Vessels under 19m in length requiring an annual examination by the Certifying Authority
All vessels 19m in length and over
MLC Compliance Fees
(Fees in this table are outside the scope of VAT)
Price (£ GBP)
MLC (Maritime Labour Convention 2006) Compliance
Vessel Stability Fees
(VAT should be added to fees in this table unless otherwise stated) (If stability documentation is not presented in an approved format, further fees may be charged for additional work)
Price (£ GBP)
Issue of Stability Category (vessels not requiring stability books) (this fee outside the scope of VAT)
Intact Stability (checking of stability books)
from 550.00
Damaged Stability (checking of stability books)
from 550.00
Sailing Multihulls (checking of stability books)
from 495.00
Stability Book Addendums (to previously approved books)
Additional Fees
(VAT should be added to fees in this table)
Price (£ GBP)
YDSA Administration fee (e.g. issue of duplicate certificates, 3 month extension)
from 65.00
Retrieval of files from archive (typically vessels that have not been coded for 2+ years)
from 65.00

Compliance Examination - Surveyor's Fees

The fees for the Compliance Examination are negotiated with and paid directly to the Nominated Coding Surveyor. The quoted fee will be on the basis that the vessel is presented for examination already compliant with the Code requirements. An additional charge may be made for a return visit or providing assistance with stability information.

SCV1 - Complete the application form and Pay for a 5 Year Application or Renewal
For vessels new to code or renewing their 5-year cycle

Pay Annual Renewals
For vessels due for their annual renewal (you may need your invoice/request for payment)

Pay Administration Fees
For various administration fees including retrieval and extension fees

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