Small craft

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 Classification Society” (RCS), the intended use of small craft is taken into account:

  • non-commercial use - RF State Inspection of Small Vessels
  • commercial use - RS or RCS

In view of the amendments to Article 7 of the Marine Merchant Code of the Russian Federation (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)

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 

Since 1st of September 2019, the Rules for the Classification and Survey of Small Craft had been introduced. The provisions of the Rules 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), 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) and Guidelines for the Classification and Survey of Small Craft №340-48-910 of 27.06.2016.

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 Rules for the Classification and Survey of Small Craft is established.

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.

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). 


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.


Rules for the Classification and Survey of Small Craft you can see in the RS Publications section
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