Caribbean Marine Surveyors Ltd. offers complete small commercial vehicle (SCV) inspection and survey services to ensure your vessel complies with laws of the countries which have ratified the MCA Codes of Practice for Small Commercial Vessels..

We offer stability assessments for all vessels that require either a full booklet review or simplified assessment. At Nanny Cay Marina, Tortola, we can perform both inclining tests as required for the stability booklet assessment and simplified heel reviews.

As a surveying organization approved by the UK government for code compliance and inspections, we also offer two levels of SCV inspection services: Pre-inspection and Certification. Pre-inspection review will examine your vessel and identify any areas that are not in compliance, ensuring that your vessel is up to requirements and that you don’t invest in equipment or modifications that are unnecessary.

We also perform full Certification assessments, including drydock and in-water inspections. Following the review, we will provide all customers with an inspection report for the certifying agency. In addition to the BVI government, Caribbean Marine Surveyors works with the International Institute of Marine Surveying, Royal Yachting Association, MECAL and the YDBSA (by appointment).

Take a look below for more information on our full range of SCV services. For further questions or to schedule an inspection appointment, email us at or give us a call at 284-346-2091.

Small Commercial Vessels (SCV) are described as any vessel, motor or sail, which is 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.

These codes have now been replaced by the “Combined Code” available as a PDF download HERE MGN280

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

The process is as follows.- Apply to a Certifying Authority such as the BVI Government or the International Association of Marine Surveying. To download a copy of the International Institute of Marine Surveyors Application form SCV1 or apply directly to MECAL or the RYA using their websites. They will appoint an inspector to go over your vessel. A new application will also need the following, applicable fee, supporting documents, Radio Licence, Captains Licence / qualifications/ STCW, 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 click HERE.To download a further guidance paper from the BVI Government click HERE

Stability Assessment

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 Tel 284 346 2091, we are located in Nanny Cay Marina on the second floor of the building above the “Arawak” clothing store near the taxi stand..

SCV Surveys

Our boat surveyors are approved by the following Certifying Authorities, International Institute of Marine Surveying (IIMS), Royal Yachting Association (RYA), MECAL and we work for the YDBSA on an appointment basis. Our inspections are also approved by the Government of the BVI, 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$300.00 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$150.00 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, or MECAL, we can provide you with an inspection report acceptable to the Certifying Authority. This cost will vary by the vessel but at present we charge US$1,750.00 for most vessels in the BVI. 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 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 of a non compliant vessel. Please CONTACT US if you would like advice or a quote or review our Survey Contract, also if you have any questions about our vessel survey please feel free to contact us today!

Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) Inspections

We are approved by the UK Certifying Authorities to carry out inspections for the MLC. At this time 65 Nations have signed into the convention (80% of the world’s commercial shipping). If you are a “Code” vessel registered in or operating out of one of the countries which have adopted the code, you will need a MLC Certificate. The USA has not ratified the convention. The UK, France, Italy, Antigua are examples of countries which have ratified the convention. The BVI will need to change the law in order to ratify the convention so that may take some time. To see a list of countries which have ratified the MLC, go to Wikipedia. We can inspect your vessel for MLC Certification.