Six Recognised Organisations (ROs) are authorised by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to undertake approximately 85% of statutory ship survey and inspection work on its behalf, and issue certification dependent on vessel type under the following International Conventions:
- International Convention on Load Lines, 1966, and LL Protocol 1988;
- International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS Convention 1974 and SOLAS Protocol 1988;
- International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, MARPOL 73/78; and
- International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships, 1969; and
- International Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-fouling Systems on Ships.
Certain elements of statutory survey, audit and inspection functions from the applicable Conventions are retained by the MCA based on risk, for example Passenger Ship Safety Certification, International Ship Security Certification, International Safety Management Certification and the Maritime Labour Convention. Further authorisation may be provided under two trial authorisation schemes that offer additional authorisation to ROs for qualifying low risk ships and shipping companies/operators.
There is limited cost to the public purse from the above authorisations, however the UK, under International Conventions including the RO Code and III Code, and as a Member State under European Directive 2009/15/EC is required to satisfy that any survey work completed by ROs acting on its behalf is effectively monitored. The MCA undertakes a comprehensive programme of monitoring and assurance visits and audits, and from January 2016 to March 2017, this has incurred costs of £156,692 based on travel costs, and resource costs for the staff undertaking this work.
 IMO Code of Recognized Organizations – Resolution MSC.349(92)
 IMO Instruments Implementation Code – Resolution A.1070(28)
 Directive 2009/15/EC on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations