Coding FAQ’s

Q. How can I find out if you have a coding surveyor in my area?
A. You can either contact the IIMS office directly by telephone on +44 (0) 23 92 313014 (Ext: 225) and ask for David Parsons, or email him.
Alternatively use this website to
find a surveyor either using the map search or category specific search facility.

Q. I would like to code my boat what do I need to do?
A. The following is required to start with:
• Where is the vessel located?
• What is the length of the vessel? IIMS only codes vessels up to 24 metres.
• What is the make and model of the boat, eg. Motor, Sailing, RIB, Workboat, Pilot Boat, etc?
• What is the material of the hull eg. GRP, Steel, Alloy, Wood, etc?

Q. How much do you charge for coding a vessel?
A. Our administration fees are shown on this website. Click here for full details.
IIMS Certifying Authority Surveyors’ costs will vary and you will deal directly with and pay them.
IIMS can recommend 2 or 3 surveyors for you to contact yourself to choose from.

Q. Which category is right for my vessel?
A. It will depend entirely on what the intended purpose of your vessel is and how far from a safe haven you plan to travel. The categories area as follows:
Category 6: To sea within 3 miles from a nominated departure point(s) named in the certificate and never more than 3 miles from land in favourable weather and daylight
Category 5: To sea within 20 miles from a nominated departure point named in the certificate in favourable weather and daylight
Category 4: Up to 20 miles from a safe haven in favourable weather and in daylight
Category 3: Up to 20 miles from a safe haven
Category 2: Up to 60 miles from a safe haven
Category 1: Up to 150 miles from a safe haven
Category 0: Unrestricted service

Q. I have a vessel based in Spain can an IIMS surveyors code this?
A. IIMS is only authorised to code vessels that are registered in the following countries:
UK Mainland, Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands

Q. I want to take my vessel out of UK waters, can I do this?
A. A Certifying Authority Surveyor will advise you on what you need to do to enable you to do this.

Q. We have a customer who has a yacht (1992, 62 feet, registered on the British Virgin Island) and the client would like to move to the UK flag. What would be the cost of registration to the UK flag and the procedures?
A. You need a consultant to do the de-registration at BVI and transferring to the UK. IIMS only deals with the tonnage. We can supply details of surveyors who deal with this type of consultancy.

Q. This vessel is changing its name from, for example Pretty Lady to Sea Urchin and I require forms for Part 1 Registration. What do I do?
The IIMS office does not offer a registration service, but we do carry out the tonnage surveying process which is then sent to the Registry on your behalf. Click for details about Tonnage Surveys.

Q. On my owner’s manual it says I need to conform to many ISO including 12217-1 2002. This is not a certificate only a Declaration of Conformity. Do I need this to get my vessel coded?
A. For MCA Coding purposes and for a motor vessel under 15 m LOA the Builder’s Self Certification of RCD Compliance is acceptable. This should be in the attached format with the relevant boxes ticked (particularly ISO12215 and 12217) and should be supported by the Builder’s Certificate.

Q. My vessel has been involved in a collision, what do I need to do?
A. You must notify the IIMS Head Office of any collision or grounding, fire or other event causing major damage. Any repairs must be approved by an IIMS Certifying Authority Surveyor. See below the IIMS Accident Form that will need to be filled in and sent to

IIMS CA Accident Report Form

Q. My mid term survey is due, but I cannot get my vessel out of the water until after the due date. Will my certificate be void?
A. The inspection does need to be carried out before the due date but if this is not possible your certificate will be suspended for a short period of time and you must not operate your vessel for commercial purposes.

Q. You have suspended my vessel, how do I get the suspension lifted?
A. Once the IIMS CA Surveyor has inspected the vessel and confirms that any issue leading to the suspension has been rectified, confirmation will be sent to the IIMS Head Office. We will notify yourselves that the suspension has been lifted and notification will also be sent to the MCA.