The MCA's efforts to update their Survey and Inspection systems have resulted in a new system named PELORUS, which provides a means to issue electronic certificates. This removes the need for UK vessels to hold signed paper copies of the statutory certificates issued by the MCA.
The PELORUS System came into use in the MCA on 24th February 2020 and certificates issued from that date may be electronic in format. However, a number of paper certificates will continue to be issued by the MCA during the implementation period.
IMO Circular FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2 on the use of electronic certificates
The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has issued guidance in Circular FAL.5/Circ.39/Rev.2 for the use of electronic certificates to which the MCA guidance is aligned in the following ways:
The format and content of the electronic certificates issued are consistent with the validity and format requirements of the relevant international convention or instrument, or national requirement as applicable;
The electronic certificates are protected from edits, modifications or revisions other than those authorised by the MCA;
Each electronic certificate has a unique tracking number (the certificate number) used for verification as described in this MIN;
A printable and visible UK government seal that confirms the MCA as the issuing authority.