|Legal status||Executive agency|
|United Kingdom coast|
|Department for Transport|
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) is an executive agency of the United Kingdom working to prevent the loss of lives at sea and is responsible, through the Secretary of State for Transport to Parliament, for implementing British and international maritime law and safety policy. It is also responsible for land based search and rescue helicopter operations from 2015.
Its responsibilities include coordinating search and rescue (SAR) on the coastline and at sea through Her Majesty's Coastguard (HMCG), ensuring that ships meet international and UK safety standards, monitoring and preventing coastal water pollution and testing and issuing Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency (licences) for ships' officers and crew to STCW requirements. The organisation is led by Brian Johnson The MCA is chiefly responsible for the syllabus and national training standards issued by the Merchant Navy Training Board (based at the UK Chamber of Shipping).
The MCA has three distinct "outward facing" elements - provision of search and rescue and prevention activity through Her Majesty's Coastguard, port and flag state control of shipping through a network of Marine Offices and the development of international standards and policy for shipping through the International Maritime Organization.
The MCA has now established an automatic identification system (AIS) network around the UK coast, for real-time tracking and monitoring of shipping movements from the shore.
MCA is going to make greater use of the technology under the UKSAR2G contract to be awarded in 2024. In particular, it will utilize planes and drones for search and rescue operations.
Its motto is "Safer Lives, Safer Ships, Cleaner Seas".
- Royal National Lifeboat Institution
- Her Majesty's Coastguard
- Code of safe working practices
- Merchant Navy (United Kingdom)
- Merchant navy
- About us, MCA, GOV.UK. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
- UK MCA CoC Requirements
- Organisation Chart , Department for Transport. Retrieved on 2010-08-11.
- "MNTB - Mission and Vision". Retrieved 3 July 2016.
- McKenzie, Steven (28 May 2020). "Coastguard plans to add drones to air fleet". BBC News. Retrieved 29 May 2020.