Authorised Agencies are certain water sport bodies that qualify for designation as per the definitions in the Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations, 2007 as per regulation 30 and can therefore only be one of the following entities:
- A governing body; or
- A club or an organisation affiliated with a governing body.
A governing body is defined by regulation as meaning a national water sport governing body–
- That publishes written rules and criteria in respect of conduct and safety requirements during skill demonstrations, formal training or controlled events; and
- That certifies coaches and coaching programmes;
- That cetifies officials and programmes for officials; or recommends training and safety guidelines for certified coaches or officials.
Note that it is not possible to designate schools or private entities as an Authorised Agency.
The policy and principle guiding SAMSA at this stage are that;
- Organised sporting bodies who use boats to carry out their sport are encouraged to ensure the safety, marking and certification of their own vessels and even participate in the national skipper certification system if they have the ability to do so;
- Pleasure boaters are encouraged to join existing sporting bodies or form new ones. This is important as it enables easier compliance with the regulations, in addition it ensures that they get a voice in the future of boating through their organisation’s engagement with the State on boating matters;
- Until such time that water sporting bodies on inland waters have caught up to their coastal counterparts, existing authorised agencies are encouraged to accommodate recreational boaters;
- SAMSA provides a limited service to recreational boaters who cannot be accommodated by the sporting agencies, but it is not seen as our core function at all.
Qualified sporting bodies can apply for any or all of the powers detailed in regulation 30 and these may be designated to them with, or without, conditions attached by the Authority for a period of three years.
Certificates of designation now include conditions providing for periodical audits by SAMSA, and agencies must work closely with SAMSA to avoid compromising their designations.
Presently it is SAMSA policy that individual clubs will not be designated as authorised agencies as our experience indicates that fewer centralised systems are more appropriate and manageable.
The following bodies are currently as Authorised Agencies in terms the Merchant Shipping (National Small Vessel Safety) Regulations 2007 (as amended);
- SA Sailing Inspection and certification of all pleasure vessels < 100 GT belonging to affiliated clubs, and examinations of skippers of motor driven vessels <9m under the national system and recreational SA Sailing certificates of competency for any sailing vessel.
- SADSAA South African Deep Sea Angling Association. Inspection and certification of pleasure vessels <9m, and examinations of skippers of motor driven vessels <9m under the national system.
- SASCA South African Small Craft Association (previously South African Underwater Union). Inspection and certification of pleasure vessels <9m, and examinations of skippers of motor driven vessels <9m under the national system.
- SAIS South African Institute of Skippers. Inspection and certification of pleasure vessels <9m, and examinations of skippers of motor driven vessels <9m as well as examinations of skippers for pleasure vessels ≥9m under the national system.
Applications for new agencies should be directed to SAMSA’s Head : Centre for Boating through either the SAMSA Pretoria office or one of the three SAMSA regional offices as appropriate, in accordance with regulation 30.