Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on MCA SCV Codes of Practice

Published: 17 April 20

The MCA has issued additional guidance outlining their approach to the survey and certification of UK Vessels (MIN 612 Amendment 3). This MIN gives guidance on extending / issuing short term certificates, plus servicing of liferafts, lifejackets and other LSAs.

What this means for vessels certified under the MCA SCV Codes of Practice

For clients of the YDSA Certifying Authority (vessels certified under the MCA SCV Codes of Practice), section 10.6 is particularly important. What this means is:

  • If you are operating on a self-certified survey regime and your mid-term examination is not due, you should still sign and return your annual declaration as normal. Remember, you are declaring the condition of the vessel, its structure, equipment, fittings, management and operation are in compliance with the requirements of the code you are certified for.

  • For all other examinations, when a Nominated Coding Surveyor is required, including MLC inspections, you should in the first instance talk to your surveyor to see if a survey can be carried out. We have talked to our surveyors and while some are not willing to travel, others are willing to still carry out surveys. Where surveys are carried out, they must be conducted obeying the government guidelines on Social Distancing, including maintaining a 2 metre distance from others.

  • If either of the above cannot be carried out within the required survey window for your vessel, then an extension on your current certification is available. To apply, you must complete the MIN 612 Declaration - Extension due to Coronavirus form found on our Coding page under Forms. You must email us the completed form to and we will process your application for extension. If we accept the application, we will send you a revised digital certificate.

  • At the earliest opportunity, and before the new certificate expiration, the required normal survey should be undertaken. Assuming all goes well, a new certificate will be issued with your normal anniversary date restored.

Extension of Routinely Serviced or Maintained Equipment

Section 10.2 of MIN 612 also allows for the extension of any routinely serviced or maintained equipment. An overview of the requirements is set out below to assist you, following a clarification point from the MCA:

  • If it is a straight-forward self-declaration then it should be treated in the normal way – no extra paperwork or tasks for client or YDSA;

  • If it is an extension of a self-declaration because the client can’t get to the vessel, then the YDSA requires the MIN 612 Declaration before issuing the extension as per previous advice;

  • The new clarification is for queries such as when the life-raft servicing is due:
    • This clarification confirms that ALL servicing and equipment expiry dates are to be extended by the 3 months;
    • What is different is that if it is a separate piece of equipment and the vessel would not otherwise need an extension, then the equipment should be stated on the declaration
    • Example: Flares are out of date today but vessel doesn’t need an annual until December. YDSA needs a MIN 612 Declaration which has 'FLARES' written on it.

We are all firmly committed to the health and safety of our employees, our Members and the wider marine community. We are closely monitoring the changing situation, and will be updating all of our Members with the relevant public health guidance as and when it changes.



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