When deciding on the jurisdiction of the classification and survey of small craft by the State Inspection of Small Craft (SISC) under the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations, FAI “Russian Maritime Register of Shipping” (RS) or FAI “Russian River Register” (RRR), the intended use of small craft is taken into account:

  • non-commercial use - RF State Inspection of Small Vessels

  • commercial use - RS or RRR 

In view of the amendments to Article 7, MMC and Article 3, of the Inland Water Transport Code of the Russian Federation (IWTC), small craft is a vessel:

  • whose length does not exceed twenty (20) meters

  • with the total number of people onboard of no greater than twelve (12) 

In accordance with the explanations of Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation V.A. Olersky (Letter No. ОВ-28/1947 dated 25.02.2013), the division of responsibilities between the RS or RRR for the classification and survey of commercial-use small craft is determined depending on the remoteness of craft operation areas from shelters or shore as follows:

  • inland waterways - RRR

  • sea areas at a distance from shelters or shore up to and including 12 miles - RS or RRR (at the shipowner’s discretion)

  • sea areas at a distance from shelters or shore more than 12 miles - RS

Registration of small craft 

In accordance with Article 33, MMC and Article 16, IWTC small craft used for commercial purposes are subject to state registration with the State Register of Ships; those that are not used for commercial purposes are subject to registration with the Register of Small Craft.

In accordance with Article 35, MMC and Article 17, IWTC, the state registration of small craft engaged in commercial activities and the rights to them is authorized to seaport captains and administrations of inland waterways basins (hereinafter referred to as state registration authorities of ships).

Para 2, Article 27, MMC and Para 10, Article 14, IWTC establish that a ship's certificate issued for the ship at the state registration certifies the right to fly the State Flag of the Russian Federation, the right of title to ship and the suitability of the ship for navigation.

Thus, in accordance with MMC, the ship's certificate does not certify the compliance of small craft with the rules for the classification and construction of sea-going ships and does not constitute evidence that small craft has a RS class. 

RS normative documents for classification and survey of small craft 

Currently, the Guidelines for the Classification and Survey of Small Craft have been introduced. The provisions of the Guidelines are based on Government Resolution No. 820 dated 18.09.2013, Government Telegram No. МС-32/79 dated 09.07.2013, normative documents of the State Inspection of Small Craft (RF SISC Rules), which are considered as the requirements of the Flag Administration, Instruction No. 501 of 29.06.2005 of the RF Ministry of Emergency Situations, as well as on the technical standards of the Regulations of the Customs Union (on safety of small craft). 

Classification of small craft 

The classification of small craft is understood as the establishment of navigation categories taking into account the design features of craft, probable wind and wave conditions and remoteness from the shelter location based on the actual technical condition of the small craft. 

Survey of small craft 

When surveying a small craft, the compliance of craft, equipment and supplies with the requirements of the Guidelines is established. 

Types of surveys of small craft 

The types of surveys of small craft are harmonized as much as possible with the Rules of the State Inspection of Small Craft, namely:

  • special survey, in expanded scope, is performed on shore and afloat at 5 year interval;

  • intermediate survey is performed between the second and third anniversary of the special survey;

  • occasional survey is performed at the time of damage control, after repair or modernization, after meeting the requirements set during the other surveys; it is performed for craft that was not previously registered with RF Ministry of Emergency Situations, before the state registration - to confirm the actual compliance of craft with the information on it specified in the title documents and to classify the craft as small for its registration with the seaport captain or the administration of inland waterways basins; it is performed in case of a ship’s towage trip outside the established navigation area. 

Survey procedure and location 

Survey of small craft is performed at the shipowner’s request sent to the local RS Branch Office. The request shall indicate whether the craft is engaged in commercial activities and whether the shipowner's agreement with the General Conditions for the Provision of RS services is confirmed.

Small craft shall only undergo a survey in the region of the RS Branch Office location, in specifically designated places. Information on the survey site locations is posted on the official RS website. 

Survey stages 

For small craft that is previously registered with SISC:

  • Deregistration at SISC

  • Application from the shipowner (in any form) to the Register for the survey associated with the re-registration of the craft is sent to the nearest Registry Branch Office. According to the survey results, a Report is made according to Form 6.3.10.

  • Application from the shipowner for state registration with the seaport captain with a copy of the SISC ship's certificate and the confirmation by SISC that the small craft is removed from the register of small crafts and the SISC Register of Ships

  • Registration with the Register of the Russian Federation and obtaining of ship's certificate.

  • Application from the shipowner to the Register for initial survey. Given the positive results of the survey, a Act is made in accordance with Form 6.3.80, and an entry is made in the ship’s certificate that the ship meets the RS requirements.

  • The shipowner submits to the port administration the ship’s certificate with the entry of the RS initial survey. The seaport captain enters information on the navigation category and a number of people allowed to be transported in the ship’s certificate (if necessary). 

For small craft that is not previously registered with SISC:

  • Contract-request from the shipowner to RS for identification and survey of the ship. Identification and survey of the ship include:
    • Analysis of ship technical documentation provided by the shipowner and determination of the navigation category based on the document that regulates the stability parameters.

    • A general survey of the ship, during which the surveyor shall make an assessment of the technical condition of the ship and issue a Conclusion on results of identification and survey of ship by Register (Form 6.3.32rf) where the RS surveyor indicates information on the ship identification, assesses the compliance of the ship with the declared information on it, assesses the technical condition of the ship, while confirming that the necessary requirements are met or there is a list of non-conformities that may be corrected during the nearest survey by the Register.

  • When performing the above procedure for identification and survey of the vessel, the surveyed items shall be photographed.

  • Request from the shipowner for state registration with the port administration.

  • Registration with the Register of the Russian Federation and obtaining of ship's certificate.

  • Request from the shipowner to RS for initial survey. Given the positive results of the survey, a Report is made in accordance with Form 6.3.80, and an entry is made in the ship’s certificate that the ship meets the RS requirements.

  • The shipowner submits to the port administration the ship’s certificate with the entry of the RS initial survey. The seaport captain enters information on the navigation category and a number of people allowed to be transported in the ship’s certificate (if necessary). 

Specific features of classification and survey of small craft that have no RF MTchS SISC ship’s certificate 

For decked small craft that are designed or built without taking into account the requirements of the normative documents, without approved technical documentation or technical supervision by supervision bodies or certification bodies, self-built ships, a decision on the possibility of assigning a category is only made after the development and approval of design documentation and/or tests made in accordance with the SISC requirements.

If no relevant documentation can be developed for undecked small craft, the seaworthiness (stability, free-board, initial trim) is established during the tests in accordance with GOST 1935-79 “Leisure, rowing and motor boats. Test methods” and GOST 19105-79 “Leisure, rowing and motor boats. Types, basic parameters and general technical requirements". 

Costs 

The survey process associated with the re-registration of a ship is calculated based on the actual time used and includes, in general case, the following labor costs:

  • Review and analysis of application

  • Review of submitted documentation.

  • Survey of ship, its equipment and supplies.

  • Conducting of the required tests and audits.

  • Making of the survey certificate.

  • Filling in of primary information documents.

  • Preparation of ship file and entering information into common database.

  • The cost of the service is determined in accordance with the documents approved according to the established procedure for the pricing rules for the RS services. 

Based on the RS experience, the total labor content of the above stages of the survey of one small craft is at least 3 (three) hours.

 

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