REGULATIONS

Regulations

The law states that sailors must have the following documents on board when sailing:
arrow Vessel's Certificate of Listing or Registration
arrow Vessel's CF or LGSC
arrow Skipper's Certificate of Competence (COC)


If you have a VHF or SSB radio you must also have your Ships' Radio Station Licence and your Restricted Radiotelephone Operator's Certificate (Marine).

National Small vessel Safety Regulations

Small vessels are governed by the Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations of 2007. At the risk of offending our legal colleagues, a simple overview of the key issues for yachties is as follows:
arrow All small vessels must meet the safety requirements as defined in the regulations. These depend on the vessel as well as where it will be sailed.
arrow Sailing vessels over 9m in length (and power vessels over 15HP) must be listed and will then receive a Certificate of Listing (COL).
arrow Sailing vessels over 9m in length (and power vessels over 15 HP) must have an annual safety inspection. On passing they get a Certificate of Fitness (COF) that is valid for one year from the date of inspection.
arrow To skipper a sailing vessel over 9m in length (or a power vessel over 15HP) you need an appropriate Certificate of Competence (COC) - often called a "skipper's ticket."
arrow These documents, or certified copies, must be carried on board at all times.
arrow SAMSA have authorised South African Sailing (SAS) to list vessels, inspect them for a COF and also to examine potential skippers for a COC.
arrow

If you wish to sail in foreign waters, a SAS listing and a COF are no longer sufficient. You will need to get your vessel registered through SAMSA and also get a Local General Safety Certificate for your yacht. Without these documents you will not be able to clear customs.

Registrations, Listings, COFs and LGSCs

The Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations of 2007 states that all sailing vessels of 9m or more in length (and motor vessels of 15 horsepower or more) used for pleasure and recreation have to be listed or registered.

arrow Listing is a simpler and less expensive process, and can be done by SAS. Click here to learn about listing. When you list your boat you get an "SA" number if it is a sailing vessel or a "ZA" number if it is a power vessel. The SA or ZA number has to be displayed on your boat.
arrow Registration is a more complex and expensive process. If you wish to "go foreign" on your yacht you will also need to register it through SAMSA. Click here to learn more about registration. SAS can help you with the registration process. On registration your boat will get an "ON" number.


The 2007 Regulations also define the safety requirements that have to be met by all small vessels. However the regulations specifically state that all sailing vessels of 9 meters or more in length (and all motor vessels of 15 horsepower or more) have to have an annual safety inspection to ensure that they comply.

If your vessel is listed through SAS then the annual safety inspection has also to be done through SAS. Once you have passed this safety inspection, you get a Certificate of Fitness (COF) that is valid for 12 months from the date of inspection.

If your vessel is registered, and you wish to "go foreign" you need a Local General Safety Certificate (LGSC). The LGSC is issued by SAMSA and is valid for 12 months. The annual safety inspection has to be done by a SAMSA approved SAS appointed safety surveyor. There will be one or more SAMSA approved SAS appointed safety surveyors in your region.

Click here to find out more about getting your COF or LGSC.

If you wish to read the full Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations of 2007 as amended, click here to download the regulations in PDF format.