By regulation, the Authority (SAMSA) and the Authorised Agencies are responsible for issuing approved markings to pleasure vessels, until such time as the Department of Transport finalises a national small vessel database and marking regime.
Recreational vessels whose owners are affiliated to clubs falling under the control of designated Authorised Agencies are able to get their approved numbers from their clubs i.e. the numbering or marking systems applied to these vessels are agreed to as part of the process when appointing Authorised Agencies.
It is one of the conditions imposed on Authorised Agencies that they record the particulars of the vessel and the owner allocated the approved number (marking) and keep records. In future, the agencies will have to forward the details to the Department of Transport for capturing (or updating) a national database of small vessels as required.
Proof of the validity of the vessel's marking is interconnected with the validity of the Certificate of Fitness in that the ‘approved marking’ (number) must be issued by, and traceable through the Agency responsible for issuing the Certificate of Fitness.
The list of approved prefixes as at time of issuing this notice is attached as Annexure 9, but is based on the following principles:
- SAMSA uses the DT- (plus a letter denoting the port of origin) prefix system for both commercial and recreational boats with the addition of the category after the number. (eg DTC 139 B)
- SADSAA use current club prefixes with the addition of a new "SR" prefix for non-club members whose vessels have been inspected and certified by SADSAA, also with the addition of the category after the number.
- SAS use a national numbering system using the SA prefix for yachts and a ZA prefix for motor vessels, also with the addition of the category after the number
- SASCA (ex SAUU) continue with the national U system with the new category replacing the old category in their current system. (eg U-03-560 would become U-E-560)
- SAIBA continue the IBA prefix with the addition of the category after the existing number.
- SA Sea Cadets use the prefix SC followed by a vessel number and the ‘unit identification’ letters as they are generally restricted vessels and are clearly identifiable.(eg SC 202 WOL)
- SAIS use the prefix A with the addition of the category after the number
- PSA use the prefix PSA with the addition of the category after the number
- SAPS continue with the SAP prefix with the addition of the category after the number.
- DWAF (Department of Water Affairs and Forestry) use the prefix DWAF, followed by the number and category.
- DEMO numbers are allocated to certain boat retailers who are then able to demonstrate vessels to prospective buyers in a limited way. (i.e. a D or E category)