Purchase & Financial Purposes Survey

Phase-Out of Charter Fleet Survey

Osmosis Evaluation

Oil Sample Analysis

Damage Survey

Canadian and British Tonnage Measurement

Condition and Evaluation for Insurance

Small Commercial Vessels MCA Codes
 Stability testing

Stolen Boats


Small Commercial Vessels

Small Commercial Vessels (SCV) are described as any vessel, motor or sail, which are less than 24 meters load line length (approx 78’9”), engaged at sea on a commercial basis and do not carry cargo or more than 12 passengers. This includes all charter boats, bareboat or skippered, day charter or term charter.

In February 2004 the BVI Government enacted a law which dictates that all SCV which operate in the British Virgin Islands have to be certified to comply with the UK  Maritime Coastguard Agency Code of Practice. This is the “Blue” code for sailing vessels and “Yellow” code for motor vessels. The operators of the boats were given 12 months to come to compliance. This time has now passed and all vessels are supposed to be in compliance.

The Blue code book is available as a PDF download HERE

The Yellow code book is available as a PDF download HERE.

These codes have now been replaced by the “Combined Code” available as a PDF download HERE

Vessels originally Coded Yellow or Blue will continue as such but new Code vessels will be coded under the Combined Code

The Codes are however not being implemented in the BVI exactly as written. For example, hatches may open forward.

The process is as follows.- Apply to a Certifying Authority such as the BVI Government or the Royal Yachting Association for a “Certificate of Inspection” and they will appoint an inspector to go over your vessel.  Your application will also need the following, applicable fee, supporting documents, Radio Licence, Captains Licence / qualifications, Stability information, Bill of Sale. The inspector will go over the vessel and give you a list of items requiring remedial action. When repairs have been completed, the Certificate will be issued.

To download a copy of the BVI Maritime Administration form to apply for a Certificate of Inspection click HERE.

To download a further guidance paper from the BVI Government click HERE

W. Bailey AMS, MIIMS is approved by the following Certifying Authorities, International Institute of Marine Surveying,  Royal Yachting Association, Government of the BVI, as a MCA Inspector for Code inspections. Caribbean Marine Surveyors offer two services for MCA Code compliance. First we offer a “Pre-inspection”. We will go over your boat and give you a report indicating what you need to do to achieve compliance. Most people find this very useful as we will tell you what equipment you need to obtain and this means that you do not waste money on unnecessary items. We charge US$250.00 for this inspection. However if we do the inspection at the same time as a survey for insurance, we will only charge an addition US$100.00 to our normal fee. Our second inspection type is the inspection for Certification. If you are a RYA Member, and are applying to the RYA for the Certificate, you will have already paid the RYA for the inspection and they will pay our fees directly. Otherwise if you are applying to another Certifying Authority, such as the BVI Government, or the International Institute of Marine Surveying we can provide you with an inspection report acceptable to the Certifying Authority. This will cost US$700.00. The full inspection is in and out of water. If this survey is carried out at the same time as an insurance survey, we will offer a 50% discount on the MCA Inspection

There are various reasons why you should be in compliance with the SCV Code. The vessel is liable to seizure by the BVI Government (unlikely but possible). Your insurance may be void if there is a clause which states that you “warrant that the vessel complies with local laws or regulations” or similar clause. Also should you be involved in an accident, the BVI Courts will very likely poor view a non compliant vessel.


All vessels operating in Category 0 or 1, or carry 16 or more persons, or carry cargo greater than 1000kg, or fitted with a crane, or towing vessels need to have a full stability assessment and booklet. All multihulls over 6 meters need to have a full stability assessment and booklet. Other vessels can be given a simplified stability assessment  as required by the Certifying Authority. Caribbean Marine Surveyors are fully approved and equipped to carry out both inclining experiments for the stability booklet and heel tests for the simplified method.

Please contact us for more information info@caribbeanmarinesurveyors.com Tel 284 494 2091



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