Vessel Listing & Certification

General information Listing your vessel to obtain an approved  marking
SAMSA registration Rules for foreign registered vessels in SA
Safety inspection, CoF's and LGSC's Information Hull Inspections Information
Registering your EPIRB
Cost and bank details
Procedural Guidelines for Safety Officers  
   

APPLY FOR A CERTIFICATE OF LISTING

APPLY FOR A HULL INSPECTION

APPLY FOR A CERTIFICATE OF FITNESS

General Information

The Information on this web page covers the legal requirements for the certification of small recreational vessels less than 100 Gross Tonnes and the Registration of vessels going foreign.

Recreational Sailing vessels > 9m in length and recreational power vessels >15HP

  • In terms of the National Small Vessel Safety Regulations (2007) Recreational sailing vessels ≥ 9m in length and recreational power vessels >15HP must have an approved marking.
  • They also require an annual safety inspection in order to obtain a Certificate of Fitness (CoF) or – if registered to go foreign as a SA flagged vessel– a Local General Safety Certificate (LGSC).
  • SA Sailing is authorised to issue approved markings, conduct safety inspections and issue CoF’s

 NATIONAL SMALL VESSEL
SAFETY REGULATIONS OF 2007

                                                                                                              
  • Vessels which "go foreign" must be registered. The country of registration is known as the vessel’s flag state.
  • The information on this web page does not cover three rather different requirements:
  • Skippers of recreational sailing vessels ≥ 9m in length (and recreational power vessels >15HP) must have Certificate of Competence (CoC) – informally known as a skipper’s ticket. SA Sailing is authorised to issue CoC’s for recreational vessels under 100 GT. Click here to find out more.
  • Yachts which wish to take part in one design class races require a measurement certificate to demonstrate that they comply with the class rules. Measurement certificates must be registered with SA Sailing. See the section on Measurement certificate requirements.
  • Commercial sailing and power vessels can only be certified by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) directly.

Recreational Sailing vessels <9m in length and recreational power vessels <15HP

  • In terms of the National Small Vessel Safety Regulations (2007), recreational sailing vessels < 9m and recreational power vessels ≤15HP do not require an approved marking or a safety certificate, and the skipper does not require a CoC., but they must still meet the construction and safety equipment requirements defined in the National Small Vessel Safety Regulations.

However, some yacht clubs insist that sailing vessels < 9m must have a CoF and the skippers must have a CoC.

Documentation required on board

You are required to have the following documentation (or a certified copy) on board:

  1. Recreational sailing vessels ≥9m and recreational power vessels >15HP are required to have a valid safety certificate (CoF or LGSC), and the skipper is required to have a valid skipper’s ticket.
  2. Vessels with a VHF radio or other radio equipment such as an MF/HF SSB radio or an EPIRB must have a valid Ship Station.
  3. Licence for the vessel, and the person operating the radio must have a valid Radio Operator’s Certificate
  4. Vessels with an EPIRB are required to have documentary evidence that the EPIRB has been registered with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC). To find out more about EPIRB registration.

Listing Your Vessel to Obtain an Approved Marking

The way that SA Sailing issues an approved marking is to issue a Certificate of Listing (CoL).

As a rule, SA Sailing will only do a safety inspection on a vessel listed by SA Sailing. There are only two exceptions:

1. SA Sailing can do a safety inspection and issue a 6-month CoF on a visiting foreign vessel.

2. In extremis, SA Sailing can do a safety inspection and issue a CoF for a vessel with a marking from another authorised agency. SA Sailing will only do this if there is no safety officer from that Authorised Agency available in the region.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 

 

 

When you list your boat, you get an "SA" number (e.g. SA 4567) if it is a sailing boat, or a "ZA" number (e.g. ZA 1234) if it is a powerboat. The SA or ZA number must be displayed on the hull of your boat.

If you wish to change your vessel's name, you must apply for a new certificate of listing. The SA or ZA number does not change. The charge for a name change is less than the charge for a change of ownership.

In order to get a Certificate of Fitness from SA Sailing you need to list your yacht under your name on the SA Sailing database. Listing requires proof of ownership as described on the application forms

Click here to download the application forms for listing your vessel:

 APPLY HERE FOR
CERTIFICATE OF LISTING (COL)
 ADDITIONAL
OWNERS
                                                                                   

The costs for listing your vessel are based on vessel length as defined in the National Small Vessel Safety Regulations and are given in the table below:

Registration types for Certificate of Listing

Member Price

Non Member Price

Up to 8.99m

R420

R630

9m - 14.99

R530

R795

15m - 24m or 100 Gross Tonnage

R730

R1095

Amendment to vessel details

R150

R150

Our bank details are FNB Pinelands, Branch No 260-209, Account No 6274 7183 995. As a reference please use CoL plus the vessel name or marking e.g. “CoL SA1234” or "CoL Summersalt.

Registration of Vessels

To leave South Africa or to arrive in a foreign country, your yacht must be registered. The country of registration is known as the yacht’s “flag state”. Unfortunately, a SA Sailing Certificate of Listing is not a South African Registration.

SAMSA Registrations

Registering your yacht on the South African register must be done through SAMSA. The Registrar of Ships (Mrs Edwina Howard) is based in the SAMSA Cape Town office.

For a fee, SA Sailing can help in the registration process. For logistical reasons, we strongly recommend that owners based in KZN work through the SA Sailing Offices in Durban. In Cape Town, many owners prefer to work directly with SAMSA.

If you would like SA Sailing to help with the registration process, please contact the Durban or Cape Town office.

Please note that SA registration is a formal process and can take some time, particularly if your documentation is poor. Please start early. For example, the registration process requires you to have a Ship Station (radio) Licence in the name of the owner. The process of getting a Ship Station Licence can take several months.

Please note that there are some important formalities associated with South African registration. For example:

  • Your registration expires automatically after five years. It is important to renew your registration before it expires, otherwise you will have to start the process all over again.

It is a serious offence to sell a SA registered vessel or to change the name of a SA registered vessel without informing the Registrar. The fines can be very significant.

 SAMSA REGISTRATION
ADMIN SERVICE FEE

                                                                                  

Foreign Registered Vessels

Marine Notice 15 of 2018 defines the requirements for foreign registered recreational vessels in SA waters. Briefly:

 Foreign registered vessels passing through SA waters have the “right of innocent passage”. That includes coming into designated entry ports for repairs and supplies. These vessels do not need a CoF.

 Visiting foreign registered vessels that want to cruise or take part in races in SA waters need a CoF. SA Sailing is authorised to issue a 6-month CoF to visiting foreign registered vessels.

 Foreign registered vessels which are based in SA on a more permanent basis must meet the full requirements of the National Small Vessel Safety Regulations. So they need both an approved marking and a CoF. The way SA Sailing issues an approved marking is by issuing a Certificate of Listing (CoL).

 Essentially what this means is that if you want a CoF from SA Sailing for a foreign registered yacht based in SA, you must first get it listed by SA Sailing and mark it with the appropriate SA or ZA marking. You can retain your foreign registration – and any markings required by that foreign registration.

Safety Inspections, CoF's and LGSC's

The safety requirements for a Certificate of Fitness (COF) or a Local General Safety Certificate (LGSC) are specified in the Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations of 2007 as amended. Most of the safety requirements for pleasure vessels are detailed in Annexure 1 and 2 of these regulations.

Note that the regulations specify minimum requirements. For example, the regulations does not allow you to cross an ocean without:

  • A GPS or chartplotter or sextant to fix your position
  • A log to allow you to maintain workable DR
  • A depth sounder to warn you of an approaching coastline
  • An SSB radio or sat phone for mid ocean communication in a medical or other emergency
  • Jackstays and harnesses to allow crew to clip on when working on the foredeck at night or in bad weather

It is up to the skipper to decide what additional equipment is appropriate and affordable for any particular voyage. The World Sailing Offshore Special Regulations provide a useful reference.

 WORLD SAILING SPECIAL REGULATIONS

                                                                                                                                    

Certificate of Fitness – COF’s

  • SA Sailing is authorised to do safety inspections and issue CoF’s for recreational vessels less than 100 GT provided they are not registered in South Africa.

To get a COF your vessel has to be listed with SA Sailing and inspected by an SA Sailing Safety Officer or a "SAMSA approved SA Sailing appointed Safety Surveyor" (referred to as a SA Sailing Vessel Safety Surveyor).

Local General Safety Certificate (LGSC)

  • Vessels registered in SA require an Local General Safety Certificate (LGSC) rather than a CoF. Some SA Sailing safety officers are authorised to do safety inspections for vessels registered in SA, but the LGSC must be issued by SAMSA

To get a LGSC your vessel has to be listed with SA Sailing, registered by SAMSA and inspected by a SA Sailing Vessel Safety Surveyor.

 

 APPLICATION FOR A VESSEL SAFETY INSPECTION

                                                                                            

Your first step is to click on the application button above and
complete the application and pay for your safety survey.
Costs and bank details are given here. You can then arrange a
survey with a Safety Officer or Safety Surveyor. If that is not
convenient, the SA Sailing office can appoint one for you.

You will also need to decide what category of COF you
want for your boat. Then download the safety inspection
check sheet. You need to complete the safety inspection
check sheet before the safety survey.

COFs and LGSCs are only valid for one year from the
date of the safety inspection.

 Safety Inspections Check Sheets

Covid 19 CoF Safety Inspection - Declaration by the Safety Officer

*Note: The Covid 19 Safety Inspection Declaration by Owner is no longer required. 

It is the responsibility of the owner or his representative to prepare the vessel for the safety inspection. You need to complete and sign the safety inspection check sheet before the safety survey. The safety officer will refuse to the safety inspection until the check sheets have been completed

Download the safety inspection check sheet appropriate to your sailing vessel

 CATEGORY A - RECREATIONAL
SAILING VESSEL OPERATING
ANY DISTANCE FROM SHORE

 CATEGORY B - RECREATIONAL
SALING VESSEL OPERATING LESS THAN
40 NAUTICAL MILES FROM SHORE

CATEGORY C - RECREATIONAL
SALING VESSEL OPERATING LESS THAN
15 NAUTICAL MILES FROM SHORE

CATEGORY D - RECREATIONAL
SALING VESSEL OPERATING LESS THAN
5 NAUTICAL MILES FROM SHORE

CATEGORY E - RECREATIONAL SALING VESSEL OPERATING NOT
MORE THAN 1 NAUTICAL MILE FROM SHORE AND 15 NAUTICAL
MILES FROM AN APPROVED LAUNCH SITE

CATEGORY R - RECREATIONAL
SALING VESSEL OPERATING SOLEY
ON SHELTERED WATERS 

Download the safety inspection check sheet appropriate to your power driven vessel.

CATEGORY A - RECREATIONAL
POWER DRIVEN VESSEL OPERATING
ANY DISTANCE FROM SHORE

CATEGORY B - RECREATIONAL
POWER DRIVEN VESSEL OPERATING
LESS THAN 40 NAUTICAL MILES FROM SHORE

CATEGORY C - RECREATIONAL
POWER DRIVEN VESSEL OPERATING
LESS THAN 15 NAUTICAL MILES FROM SHORE

CATEGORY D - RECREATIONAL
POWER DRIVEN VESSEL OPERATING
LESS THAN 5 NAUTICAL MILES FROM SHORE

CATEGORY E- RECREATIONAL POWER DRIVEN VESSEL OPERATING
NOT MORE THAN 1 NAUTICAL MILES FROM SHORE AND 15 NAUTICAL
MILES FROM AN APPROVED LAUNCH SITE

CATEGORY R - RECREATIONAL
POWER VESSEL OPERATING SOLEY
ON SHELTERED WATERS

 

Hull Inspection - Background Information

For a safety inspection of a vessel moored in the water, SAMSA now require a hull inspection by a safety officer every 4 years, with interim hull inspections by the owner.

The initial hull inspection conducted by a safety officer will be valid for 24 months from the date of the inspection. The safety officer will send the hull inspection report to SA Sailing – or better still – upload it through the system. The SA Sailing administrator will then issue a hull inspection certificate (HIC) via email.

A hull inspection conducted by the owner extends the validity period by 24 months from the date of the owner’s hull inspection, but to a maximum of 48 months from the date of the initial safety inspection by the safety officer. There will be no charge for issuing a hull inspection certificate extension

The owner may do more than one extension, on the understanding that the hull inspection certificate cannot be extended beyond 48 months from the initial safety officer inspection. So if the boat comes out of the water 18 months after the initial safety officer hull inspection, the owner may choose to do a hull inspection himself, extending the life from 24 months to 42 months (i.e. 18 months plus 24 months). If the boat comes out of the water again 36 months after the initial safety officer hull inspection, the owner may choose to do another hull inspection himself, extending the life of the HIC to its maximum of 48 months from the initial safety officer hull inspection

From January 2021, SA Sailing will not do a safety inspection or issue a CoF for a vessel where the safety inspection is conducted on the vessel in the water unless it has a valid hull inspection certificate. So it is important for the owner to get a hull inspection done when he next takes his boat out of the water for antifouling– otherwise he may be faced with the cost of taking it out again just to get the hull inspected by a safety officer.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

                                                                 

 

Hull Inspection Procedure

The procedure for a hull inspection by a safety officer is described on the hull inspection check sheet:

HULL INSPECTION CHECK SHEET
CONDUCTED BY SAFETY OFFICER

HULL INSPECTION CHECK SHEET
EXTENTION CONDUCTED BY OWNER

                          
The prices are given below:

Hull inspection by safety officer

Price

<9m

R460

From 9.000m to 11.999m

R590

From 12.000m to 14.999m

R870

From 15.000m to 19.999m

R1090

From 20.000m to 24.000m

R1250

Our details are FNB Pinelands, Branch no260-209, Account no 62747183995. As reference, please use the ME Number as provided to you on the invoice generated when making your application.

You must bring your hull inspection check sheet and proof of payment to the hull inspection. Once the safety officer has signed off the hull inspection, he will sign on to the certificate system and upload both the check sheet and the proof of payment.

Please note that the system will not accept the hull inspection unless the safety officer uploads both the check sheet and the proof of payment.

The SA Sailing certificate administrator will check the uploaded documents and approve the hull inspection. Approving the hull inspection will trigger an automatic email to you with your hull inspection certificate.

To extend the hull inspection, you do the hull inspection yourself and submit it to SA Sailing – preferably electronically. The system will issue you with an extension to your hull inspection certificate.

APPLY HERE FOR
HULL INSPECTION CERTIFICATE
                                                                                                                                                  

Once you have uploaded your proof of payment, you need to contact a safety officer to arrange for the hull inspection. You are required to complete the Hull Inspection Check Sheet before the safety officer arrives for the hull inspection. He will not inspect the hull until you have completed that process

The hull inspection should take place when the hull has been cleaned but before it is antifouled.

You will receive your hull inspection certificate by email.

Registering your EPIRB

EPIRB's (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) and PLB's (Personal Locator Beacons) have saved thousands of lives. Unfortunately, there is a serious problem with false alarms. The US Coast Guard quotes a figure of 96%. Because of the high false alarm rate, Marine Rescue Co-ordination Centres (MRCC’s) will attempt to validate the alarm before initiating expensive rescue exercises such as diverting a large commercial vessel in mid ocean. That is where registration your EPIRB with the appropriate MRCC is so important. The registration data provides the MRCC with the means to attempt to contact the vessel and to get in touch with contact persons. Failure to register your EPIRB can result in serious delays. It is a legal requirement to have proof of registration on board.

SA vessels must register their EPIRB’s with the MRCC in Cape Town. The registration form is given below. Further details are given in the Marine Notice.

The MRCC will send you a proof of confirmation. A vessel with an EPIRB will not pass a safety inspection unless you provide the safety officer safety officer with that proof of registration.

Marine Notice 20 of 2021

MRCC EPIRB
REGISTRATION FORM
                                                                                                     

 

Foreign registered vessels will get a ship station licence from their flag state. The first three digits on that MMSI number will be a country code specific to that flag state. The MRCC in Cape Town will not be able to register that EPIRB. The EPIRB must be registered with the appropriate rescue authority in that flag state.

Cost and Bank details

The prices below are based on the overall length of the vessel as defined in the National Small Vessel Safety Regulations of 2007

 

Certificate of fitness for vessels listed by SA Sailing

Discounted price for paid up members

Standard price

<6.000m

R320

R320

6.000m to 8.999m

R510

R765

9.000m to 11.999m

R720

R1080

12.000m to 14.999m

R910

R1365

15.000m to 19.999m

R1090

R1635

20.000m to 24.000m or 100GT

R1220

R1830

Our bank details are FNB Pinelands, Branch No 260-209, Account No 6274 7183 995. As a reference please use the ME number as provided to you on the invoice generated when you make your application.

SA Sailing is a non-profit organisation managed by volunteers. Our prices do no more than cover our costs which include VAT, a small honourarium to safety officers and the cost of running a certification scheme to the standards demanded by SAMSA.

Certificate of fitness for vessels not listed by SA Sailing (SAMSA require us to charge visiting foreign vessels and vessels from other authorised agencies the full SAMSA rates)

 

Standard price

<6.000m

R499

6.000m to 8.999m

R780

9.000m to 13.999m

R1575

13.999m to 24.000m or < 100GT

R3310

Procedural Guidelines for Safety Officers

The SAMSA Small Vessel Surveyor’s Course covers the technical aspects of safety inspections but does not cover the specifics of the SA Sailing systems and paperwork.  The purpose of the guidelines below is to close that gap

Procedural Guidelines for Safety Officers

APPLICATION FOR APPOINTMENT
AS A SAFTEY OFFICER