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The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is responsible for the UK’s survey, inspection and audit regime, and safety, environmental and navigational regulatory compliance requirements. All UK registered vessels which operate commercially must be surveyed and certified before they can enter service.

The MCA provides this function though its Survey and Inspection team and Survey Operations teams.

The Survey and Inspection team

A dedicated team of over 120 marine surveyors working out of nine Marine Offices and four satellite offices located throughout the UK coast, as well as an international Marine Office and surveyor based in Singapore.

The Survey and Inspection team are responsible for:

  • Undertaking surveys, inspections, and audits
  • Port State Control (PSC)
  • 24/7 on-call duty surveyor service
  • Dedicated customer service manager function to larger commercially operating vessel owners
  • Seafarer exams
  • STCW short course approvals (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers)

The Marine Office Surveyors work closely with the Survey Operations teams (International and Domestic) and other stakeholders (internal, external, governmental) to ensure consistency of approach and application, with respect to our survey activities on the Domestically and Internationally trading fleet.

Survey operations team

The Survey Operations team are responsible for:

  • Providing operational and technical support to the MCA’s Survey and Inspection team and stakeholders for the internationally trading commercial fleet
  • Providing advice, survey policy guidance and direct support to the MCA’s Survey and Inspection team and stakeholders
  • Providing technical expertise, including interfacing between industry, innovation, operations and policy
  • The issuing of exemptions, equivalences and Alternative Design and Arrangement (ADA) submissions for UK vessels
  • The development, management and control of the Instruments of Appointment and is the point of contact for Recognised Organisations (ROs) for UK vessels 
  • Working closely with other operations teams to ensure consistency of approach , such as technical consultancy for UK Technical Maritime Services
  • Assisting with meeting the government's innovative technology and sustainability strategy by providing technical input and support to the development of operational policy and procedures
  • Facilitating the MCA's regulatory response to innovative technological developments

Contact the team

If you wish to book a survey, inspection or audit, please contact your Customer Service Manager (CSM) or your local Marine Office and complete Application for survey and inspection of ships and fishing vessels (MSF 5100).

Find out where your nearest UK Marine Office is on GOV.UK

Find contact details for your local Marine Office on GOV.UK

If you are a current MCA customer and you have a technical query, you can contact the Survey Operations team by emailing