All UK vessels in commercial use, 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 and be issued with Certificates of Compliance 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
- 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.